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LAX customs problems

Travel Forums North America LAX customs problems

1. Posted by norto29 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I am an Australian. My wife and I traveled to the US (Los Angeles) for the first time in April 2009. Just for a holiday. I landed at LAX. At customs, I presented my passport for inspection, was fingerprinted etc. Another customs officers arrived and told me to follow him. I was taken to a room with about 30 chairs in it and about 7 other people. I was then spoken to a customs officer who accused me of being in the US 3 months before and not to lie about it. I asked what the problem was and I was very rudely informed I did not need to know! I sat there for an hour before being given back my passport and told "welcome to the United States." I again asked what the problem was but the officer refused to answer. I have since traveled to the Los Angeles in March 2010 and November 2010. Each time just on holiday for a week. Every time I present at customs for my passport to get checked, I am taken to this other room and made to wait. I always get back my passport and am allowed to continue on my way. The thing that really gets me is on all 3 occasions, the customs officers refuse to tell me why this is happening. I don't have a criminal record, I am in fact a Police Officer of 20 years in Australia. I am traveling to the US in August 2011 for a birthday and I am getting very worried that I will eventually be refused entry.

Has anyone else had this happen to them and more importantly do you know why?

2. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

For some reason you have a red flag on your Passport. It could be a simple computer glitch or perhaps your name/description closely resembles someone else who is a "person of interest."

The fact that you've had the same hassle yet been allowed into the US on three separate occasions shows that whatever has been red flagged eventuality upon further investigation has been ignored.

You might want to send a very succinct description of the issue along with a photocopy of your Passport to the US Embassy in Canberra or the U.S. Consular Office in your state or territory.

In the long run though you'll be okay - if there was any real problem you would have already be screwed royally during one of the three earlier trips.

Good luck.


3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2012 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I think CheersT is giving you very good advice - do contact the US Embassy before your next trip. As a US citizen, I think this is outrageous! I think I would visit the US Embassy or Consulate in person - I think Hilary Clinton needs to send you an apology!

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3579 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I have heard before that US Immigration & Customs need better people skills. US residents may remember that former US Senator Ted Kennedy was on a terrorist watch list. It took several incidents to finally get him off the 'watch list'. Hopefully a visit to your US Embassy will correct the problem. I doubt you will get an apology for anyone. Certainly not from our Sec. of State.