17 Responses

  1. Randy
    Randy at |

    Absolutely spot-on. This is bad for frequent flyers. With pre-clearance we have to go through security twice at overseas airports, the second time it’s U.S. security but without TSA Pre-Check.

  2. JEM
    JEM at |

    DHS doesn’t really care about faster throughput for passengers. It’s tasked with improving security, and pre-clearance is arguably an effective part of keeping the “undesirables” (your words) out.

    I have GREATLY appreciated pre-clearance during frequent trips to Toronto – typically arrive at YYZ about 60-75 minutes before the early morning flight and with GE, I’m usually US-side 15 minutes later. My domestic connections are MUCH faster (at least through ORD, DTW, LGA, ATL or MSP; DEN on UA is the exception, but I NEVER get a decent connection there). There’s also an AA lounge gate-side as well if I get through too early.

    I realize that experience may not be typical everywhere with pre-clearance, but I think the benefits for DHS are worth the minor inconvenience to FFs. Yes it may mean fewer minutes in an international lounge, but the vast majority of flyers, and I’d guess even the majority of FFs, don’t use them anyway.

  3. Greg
    Greg at |

    Well at least Germany and France have pretty much nixed any chance of this on their soil.

    Heathrow it’s hard to say…

    Virgin doesn’t announce gates until the last minute so people don’t wait in gate areas, so how that gets sorted will be interesting.

    Perhaps if preclearance is setup in a distributed fashion rather than a single point in the airport you can get away with telling people to queue up just before boarding time. But then the fast trackers get held up by the slowest hard to clear passenger.

    It also gets around having to create separate lounge facilities.

    I’d rather keep the status quo, but am frankly just curious at what the UK officials envision that has them welcoming this with open arms.

  4. Mak
    Mak at |

    Pre-Cleanance will be a nightmare for flyers — as anybody whom has passed through pre-clearance at Abu Dhabi can tell you. Fighting this ought to be a priority. The only people interested in pre-clearance are the CPB agents who will get cushy overseas assignments.

  5. Brian
    Brian at |

    The only place this seems to work well is Canada » USA. YYZ and YVR, for example, have enough frequency through the day that there are lounges behind immigration and security (including a Admirals Club in YYZ).

    I could see this working at a place like LHR or AMS with the volume of passengers, but can they build the infrastructure to make it work?

  6. Dave
    Dave at |

    While pre-clearance works for me in YYZ, I haven’t found it worth it anywhere else. It kills any chance for duty free shopping and the second security with no pre-check is a real pain. Don’t even get me started when there is a weather or mechanical delay.

    What really bugs me is the egregious empire building of DHS on foreign soil, in the name of a (false) sense of security. Why any foreign government would cede its sovereignty to U.S. agents is beyond me.

  7. Randy
    Randy at |

    @Brian and @Dave, for me, the problem with pre-clearance in Canada as well as other places is that you have to go through U.S. security without Pre-Check. So, shoes off, liquids out, etc. At most overseas airports, shoes stay on and liquids stay in (but are checked for size by the x-ray person).

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  9. Joe
    Joe at |

    @Randy – For those with Nexus, there is a separate security line similar to TSA Pre-Check at YYZ. You can leave shoes and light jackets on, liquids stay in bag, but your laptop and large electronics still need to come out of the bag.

    There is also a Nexus line at the YVR pre-clearance security checkpoint, but that line has some very weird hours that I’ve never been able to figure out.

    Not sure if it Global Entry users can also use the Nexus line – I’ve seen some GE members allowed, while others were directed to the standard security line at other times.

    1. Randy
      Randy at |

      @Joe, I’ve flown through various Canadian airports many times. There is an “expedited” security line for those with NEXUS cards, but it’s not “similar to TSA Pre-Check.” You still need to take your shoes off and liquids out. It’s still a long, slow, hassle.

  10. thehawk75
    thehawk75 at |

    Why do folks like the YYZ precheck so much? I have flown out of that terminal numerous times in the past 20 years.

    Prior to Nexus/GE terminals it was a PITA. You had to show up more than 2.5 hours prior to flight just in case the lines were backed up. Sometimes you were through in 15 minutes, other times you stood in line for 2 hours and started panicking about missing the flight (on top of being PO’d that you’d been in line for 2 hours).

    The only saving grace was the AA lounge that was airside in the event you cleared early. If you had no lounge pass then you stood around the terminal for 2 hours after having been ‘lucky’ to clear early.

    Yes, the experience is vastly improved since GE/Nexus, but… come on let’s remember how it was prior to this….

    Now imagine the ‘old YYZ’ experience in more airports, without the added benefit of airside lounge? and likely even less CBP officials working to clear long lines (I mean after all YYZ is only a 1 hour drive from Buffalo area so cost to bring officials would be far less) This is basically guaranteeing a 3+ hour check in experience (either waiting in line, or wandering aimlessly around a boring and dingy section of a terminal without the amenities that travelers to other parts of the world would have). Sounds like yet another hell foisted upon US travelers by their own government.

  11. L Cavendish
    L Cavendish at |

    Betting the US is going to make the host countries pick up a large portion of the costs for CBP Officer pay and overtime…possibly housing and utilities as well.
    Personally I think money would be better spent hiring and training more officers for use in the US.
    I worked Pre-Clearance in The Bahamas…Nassau.
    Great until the airlines all want to leave at the same time. Had something like 26 flights leaving between 10am and 2pm. Thankfully no large planes…usually about 150 passengers per plane maximum.
    But…staffing is LIMITED at pre-clearance ports. Hard to get extra people from another port at a moments notice. Lots of paperwork to move people in and out…expensive…limited to 5 years stay…so constant staff rotation. Many only stay the 2 year minimum and then go back home.
    We had days where everything went so smoothly…and others where 2 hours was not enough time to get through the line…and that was the US Citizen line.
    Enjoyed the off time at the beach…usually dreaded days at work…

    1. Better By Design
      Better By Design at |

      This is what I have wondered about pre-clearance – beyond the obvious huge problems in reconfiguring foreign airports for it, how much does it cost DHS to staff a position overseas versus the US? 2X? 3X?

      Even if the foreign airport/airline/government is willing to pay for this (and why would they be exactly?) this is not a money saving venture… unless there’s a huge bill for shipping people back to their country of origin I’m not aware of.

      In any event, I can’t say I’m onside with this idea unless it’s done right (facilities, staffing, etc) and I rather doubt it will be.