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The Hidden Airport

Now in Patrick Smith's ASK THE PILOT column: HIDDEN AIRPORT. Unexpected Pleasures in a Terminal Near You. And, why does the United States refuse to acknowledge the "in transit" passenger? ( Mehr...

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Daniel Baker 1
In-transit passengers connecting through the US are NOT always require to re-check their luggage. At airports with a lot of I:I connections due to geographic proximity (e.g., IAH, due to Central America), a green "in transit" tag is attached to their luggage and it is checked through the US without the passenger re-claiming it, taking it through customs, and re-checking it. The airlines file an "in transit manifest" with US CBP with the details of in-transit luggage but it is seamless to passengers, just like you would want.

Also, having to re-clear security is not a requirement specific to the US and many countries require this even when you're in transit to another country and not going through immigration or customs. I've faced this all over the world, and as recently as last week in London when I was required to re-clear security to make a connection to the US from Belgium. It's a huge hassle but not unique to the US.

Having "in transit" areas is a complicated and expensive endeavor that makes a lot of sense for physically small countries that are geographically adjacent to lots of others. For example, European airports are good at this, but the cost is a TON of replication in services….you have twice as many facilities so you can cover the schengen area vs non-schengen area of the airport.
Patrick Smith 0
Now in Patrick Smith's ASK THE PILOT column:


Unexpected Pleasures in a Terminal Near You

And, why does the United States refuse to acknowledge the "in transit" passenger?

Some excerpts:

".... Frommer's, the travel guide people, recently released their list of the world's best and worst airports. I'm disappointed to see JFK's terminal 5, the much overhyped home of JetBlue, rated near the top. As I've opined before, this building has to be one of the most disappointing airport projects of the last three decades. It's certainly one of the ugliest. The airside view -- the exterior as seen from the runways and taxiways -- is criminally hideous. It looks like the back of a shopping mall; all that's missing are some pallets and dumpsters. On the inside: wow, gee-whiz, a food court...

...With scattered exceptions, US airports don't have a whole lot going for them. Putting aside aesthetics, cleanliness, and a lack of public transport options, another thing that doesn't help is that American airports simply do not recognize the "in transit" concept. * All * passengers arriving from overseas, even if they're merely transiting to a third country, are forced to clear customs and immigration, re-check their luggage, pass through TSA screening, etc. It's an enormous hassle that you don't find overseas...

...Flying from Australia to Europe, for instance, a traveler has the option of flying westbound, via Asia or the Middle East, or eastbound via the US West Coast. Even though the distance and flying times are about the same, almost everybody will opt for the westbound option. I suspect this costs our airlines many millions annually in lost revenue. Indeed this is part of what has made carriers like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, et al., so successful...

..Now, so that you don't accuse me of harping on the negative, allow me to introduce a new feature. I'm calling it "Hidden Airport." The idea is to highlight little known spots of unexpected pleasantness at US airports. It can be a place for some peace and quiet, an unusually good restaurant, etc. It should be somewhere out of the ordinary and relatively unknown -- an escape spot. I'll start things off with two of my favorites......."

The FULL article is here:
Roy Kizzia 0
Glad they weren't talking about an airport that is hard to see from the air. :)


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