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Why it takes so long to get on your flight!...NEVERMIND

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by totallyfrozen, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Replaced by a wet towel
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I suggest you delete this. I've gotten points for posting something with language once before.
  3. Well, that's pretty lame...but OK.

  4. NateS


    Sep 22, 2009
    Richmond, VA, USA
    I feel like I missed something. Hmmm.
  5. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I knew I should have watched it before :(
  6. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    If you think getting onto a flight takes a long time you ought to try standing in the immigration line, after a flight, trying to get into the US.

    I used to fly into SF around once every 6 weeks. The ten and a half hour flight from Heathrow was a 747 race, east to west, from London with another 747 coming west to east from Taiwan. If I was lucky the London flight would just nudge the landing permission ahead of the Taiwan flight and get in a few minutes earlier..if not the Taiwan flight won and I would arrive in the immigration hall behind a Jumbo load of people, mainly of Chinese ethnicity. Given that, over the years, cost cutting measures from my company moved me into the back of the plane it was entirely possible to find myself at the back of an 800 strong line.

    The immigration guys take long enough scrutinsing the credentials of a middle aged caucasian Brit business bloke, like me, with a visa waiver agreement between our countries. For anyone who looks more exotic than a flabby middle aged white guy in a business suit, either through ethnicity or lifestyle, you can double the time taken.

    My quickest time through SF was 45 minutes, the average was pushing 1.5 - 2 hours, my record was 4.5 hours of standing in line after a 10.5 hour flight in coach....yum, yum.

    Chicago is busier and worse. I've actually missed a connecting flight to Indianapolis because of immigration despite there being a 6 hour stopover - although admittedly that was because I was hauled off into the interview area (after waiting my requisite 3.5 hours in line) to await an investigation into some sort of passport or visa irregularity. I never did find out what it was about, after waiting another 2.5 hours my interview consisted of one of the officers just asking me whether I'd filled in the visa waiver ESTA form on-line before I'd travelled, I said "yes" and he said "OK, you can go"
  7. rr5025


    Nov 12, 2008
    Yeah I hear you. When I came back into the US after living in the UK for a bit the customs guy was a complete dick to me. On the other hand when I was going into the UK that customs woman was super nice and it took me literally two minutes.
  8. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    it's the same thing in LA. I recently traveled to Japan, and their immigration is a nice open hall, very clean, very friendly people. Accomodating etc. Ours is institutionalized with apathetic workers, taking their own sweet time, with these beige walls and sometimes basically one like to accommodate two giant jets at the same time. Mind numbing. Especially after a 10 hour flight. I often wonder what people think when this is the first thing people experience with our country.
  9. Actium


    Jan 15, 2011
    Visited Australia and once I got off the plane immigrations or whatever was all "welp, welcome to Australia mate have a nice time!" No real questioning just looked at my info, stamped it and sent me on. Sure the line was annoying but the nice attitude of the dudes there made me forget that.

    Got back into the country at LAX and had to take a damn 5th grade geography test from some disgruntled black man about my age (mid 20s) Then he told me that my name (a generic white person name btw with no weird spellings) was weird and unAmerican and he'd never seen anybody spell it that way. I felt like talking back to him about his stupid ass DeShawn name or whatever it was.

    Yes if this was my first visit to America and had to go through that of course I'd be a bit bitter about it.
  10. Nice one dude


  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Coming in through LAX is pretty bad. I'd rather come in through some other portal, like ORD (Chicago O'Hare), DFW, or SFO and get a connecting flight to SNA.

    Last year I came in from Hong Kong to LAX, and the international arrivals hall was really crowded. To make matters worse, unlike other major airports I've gone through, LAX does not use overhead signage to help direct holders of different passports to their appropriate waiting lines. instead they use little signs on chrome stands that are about four feet tall. Signs that are easily hidden by crowds of people hoping to find where to go. Yeah, like that's helpful.
  12. Actium


    Jan 15, 2011
    Yea I was in the wrong line for about 10 minutes until my spot in the line took me right next to one of those signs. :help:
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Yeah, my boss used to work in LA so I've been through LAX quite a few times as well.

    First time ever into the US was to San Francisco. For us Brits we have a visa waiver treaty of some kind and it used to mean you had to fill in a green visa waiver form - they usually gave you one of these early in the flight.

    So, I duly filled mine out chuckling a little at the questions that ask "Do you intend to engage in criminal activities while you're in the US" and wondering what "Moral Terpitude" was so that I could see if it was a fun thig to do.

    Eventually, after filling out all the details I came to a point on the form where there was a thick black line and underneath there were the words "for official use only". OK, so anything below the line is officialdom...good we're done.

    On arrival, I stood in line for a hour or so until I finally reached a desk. The immigration guy took a look at all my documents and said "you haven't filled this out properly, you'll have to go to the back of the line, fill it out and come back". What? What's wrong with the form? Turns out that at the bottom of the form in what appears to be in the 'official' section is a space to fill in your signature, printed name and date (even though as I recall I'd already signed it in a space on the first side).

    "OK" I said "but I can do that in 10 seconds, can I borrow your pen?"
    "Nope" he replied
    "Why not?" I asked
    "'Cos people steal 'em"

    Right. So I was just about to go off on a John Cleese style rant about how buying a $1000 dollar airfare and sitting on a plane for ten hours just to steal a ballpoint from a US immigration official probably wouldn't really win any prizes for being a criminal mastermind and when he asked what I was going to be doing in the US I was sorely tempted to say "I just came to steal a biro and catch the next flight home...so long suckers, mwahahha..."

    But by that time he'd relented and let me sign the form....Welcome to the United States of America.

    PS: The waiver form has changed now and is much clearer now...but it's also lost the question about moral terpitude...shame, that was my favourite.

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