Flying Cross Border (Canada-US) At Eighteen

Travel Forums North America Flying Cross Border (Canada-US) At Eighteen

1. Posted by icouldbegod13 (Budding Member 2 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I’m eighteen, Canadian, and plan to fly to Washington after the pandemic. I want to do this alone though which means crossing the border without any real guidance. I’ve taken many cross border flights with my family over the years but never really payed much attention to the process of everything. I’ll be flying from YYZ to SEA if any consolation. I was just wondering if anybody knew anything about the process or had any advice for me about flying alone for the first time.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3037 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

>if anybody knew anything about the process

The US entry procedure is much the same regardless of your citizenship.

1. De-plane.

2. Go to the Customs area (there are signed but it's really just a matter of following everyone else!)

3. (Almost inevitably) queue for x amount of time.

4. Go to the desk when called forward. Give passport to officer. If your fingerprints and photo weren't taken as a child they will be taken now. If they were, both will be checked using technology. The officer will ask you some questions e.g. where are you visiting, how long are you staying etc. Be honest and...most polite and courteous at all times.

5. When the officer is satisified you'll get your passport back with a card to be handed in on exiting the baggage reclaim area. Collect your bag, hand in the card and exit.

>had any advice for me about flying alone for the first time.

1. Get to the airport in plenty of time (I'm always at airports at least 2 hours before my flight departs). There can be queues for check-in/bag-drop and for security. The last thing you want is more stress.

2. Have a hard copy of your airline ticket and/or boarding pass (if you check-in online). Phones can break, wifi can go down.... relying on your phone alone is imo not worth the potential hassle.

3. Check-in/bag-drop. Make absolutely sure that you stick to the airline's rules for size and weight of both cabin and hold baggage.

4. Go through security well before your flight departs (I'd suggest at least an hour) to a) allow for delays caused by other passengers and b) give you time to orient yourself airside & chill a bit. Make 100% sure you have nothing on you to set off the scanner (they're also set to go off at random so don't be shocked if they do and you get patted-down!). Make sure there's nothing in your cabin bag/bags which breaks security rules (rules are much the same everywhere). Always be polite and pleasant as you go through security.

5. Keep an eye on the departure boards airside and go to the gate as soon as it's displayed.

I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine! :-)