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Airport time

Travel Forums North America Airport time

1. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5655 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Ok, when I want to fly to Belize or Cancun, via the USA, how much time do I need in the US airport to get my luggage and check in the next flight?
I mean, i heard it's not possible to get your luggage on the next flight automatically, like almost any other country, is it?
There are some cheaper possibilities via Atlanta or so, instead of flying directly from Holland to Cancun, so that's why I am asking.
But the connecting flights are mostly within 2 hours or so on the us airport.
Will I need an extra night in Atlanta?

2. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Michael - anytime we have transferred in US we have been able to get our bags checked through to the final destination. When transferring through LAX back from NZ we didnt see our bags they were security checked automatically and we were stored in a transit lounge! As long as you are on a through ticket.

Other times it has been out of flight into passport control for the usual interrogation, pick your bag up take it through security where its taken off us again and onto your next flight. We usually have about 2 hours transfer time - although it has been a sweat at times especially if the queues at immigration have been long.

Give yourself minimum 2 hours transfer if its possible for you - unless you really want to spend a night in the states.

Any help?

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5655 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I didn't know that actually. So checking in again is never necessary?
Well, better this way, it gives me more opportunity to choose from different flight combinations which have at least about 2 hours interval between them.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Generally I think the second situation that Purdy describes is the most common. Your bag will be checked through to your final destination. You pick it up before clearing US customs and immigration (or after immigration but before customs), and then drop it off again at a special connection belt. You won't need to check in again, though you may need to go through security again (probably not in Atlanta, though, assuming you are in the international concourse).

As a citizen of the Netherlands, you won't need to get a Visa coming into the US, assuming you meet the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP - basically you need a machine readable passport), but you will need to stand in a longer line than US citizens. I've found that this usually takes at least 30 minutes, and potentially an hour, depending on when you arrive. Atlanta is a VERY busy airport.

I'd say two hours is reasonable.