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Customs/immigration

I'm booked on a 2022 flight from Seattle to Glasgow via London on BA. I have a 3 hour layover in London so I hope I get processed by Immigration and Customs in London, rather than Glasgow. Is that the case,or if it isn't, can I opt for it somehow?

Posted by
4954 posts

No worries. They won’t let you on your Glasgow connecting flight until you’ve gone thru immigration and customs, in addition to Security at Heathrow.

Posted by
1848 posts

Immigration occurs where you enter the UK in your case London.

Customs takes place when you collect your luggage i.e. Glasgow

Posted by
4954 posts

OK, in my case, customs has never been any encounter with any official or person. Other than filling out a landing card, handed out by flight attendants on the BA flight to London, it’s been a total non-event. And we’ve done carry-on luggage only for several years now, so no baggage collection involved.

Posted by
4954 posts

Really? Even simpler then, and more streamlined for jjgurley, upon landing in London, before continuing on to Glasgow, unhindered.

Posted by
9777 posts

Really? Even simpler then, and more streamlined for jjgurley, upon landing in London, before continuing on to Glasgow, unhindered.

Did you forget about this little thing called Covid and all the hoops one needs to jump through to enter the country. Of course, no one knows what the requirements will be next year.

For my trip next month, I will need my proof of vaccination, Passenger Locater Form, and reciept for a Day 2 Covid test. I wish all I needed was a landing card.

Posted by
4954 posts

Of course, no one knows what the requirements will be next year

Of course.

The original question concerned customs/immigration. Having Covid requirements and any other matters besides customs/immigration handled wasn’t in question. If that original question didn’t get answered satisfactorily, perhaps someone can do that.

Posted by
96 posts

Although I hope Covid stuff is long gone by next summer, I suspect we'll still be dealing with proof of vaccination and testing. Hopefully, Covid matters are "immigration" and not "customs", so I can get that out of the way in London. The original question was trying to figure out how long it would take from landing in Glasgow to be on the road in a rental or make a LoganAir connection. I should have asked that instead.

As far as customs goes, where is that handled if we only have carry-on bags?

Posted by
9777 posts

Understand this.....

Immigration is for people. Customs is for goods.

The flight to Glasgow is a domestic fight. No immigration. With no checked bags, very little chance you get stopped for customs. The vast majority of people just leave without being stopped.

As for how long the whole thing will take, no one can tell you because no one knows what time your flight will really land. It could be late, it could be early.

Posted by
96 posts

I understand the difference between immigration and customs. Please don't lecture.

When I flew into Paris from the US to catch a domestic connection, I went through immigration then had to claim any bags, go through customs, then re-check my bag. Seems like a similar situation with US to London to Glasgow, but the first two answers disagree about customs.

I've only flown into Heathrow as an end destination, and then Brexit has probably changed things as well.

Posted by
25724 posts

I understand the difference between immigration and customs. Please don't lecture.

I'm sorry you are sensitive about that, jjgurley, but vast swathes of Americans and other new travellers don't. Because the whole process is called customs in the US they often arrive with misconceptions.

It is good to know that you are aware.

Am I right that you are contemplating a west coast to Heathrow flight followed by a flight from Heathrow to Glasgow and then another flight or renting a car if you can't get the flight? My usually nerves of steel would have curled up into a ball of fear. Fair does.

Posted by
25724 posts

If you have your bag with you as you clear immigration you will then leave the secure area, I'd expect. If so you will walk through either a green door (nothing to declare) or a red door (something to declare) at Heathrow.

If you manage to stay in the secure area to get to the next flight then you will do that process in Glasgow.

Either way the Customs bit takes less time than the sweep second hand on Mickie's watch takes to go around half a time. Unless there's a short queue in which case it may go around once or twice. Unless you've taken the red door and have to chat with the lovely chap or chapess behind the counter if they call you over.

Posted by
96 posts

I've got a British Airways controlled flight that involves three segments - S.Oregon to Seattle (3hr layover) to London (3 hr layover) to Glasgow. I then have a four hour layover to get LoganAir to Stornoway. If any part of the chain gets seriously broken, I don't want to think about it. Maybe I should make a backup LoganAir reservation for a day later.

Posted by
97 posts

the UK is England Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland flying within the UK is a domestic flight just as a flight from Dallas to Los angeles is a domestic flight so flying london to glasgow is domestic flight you will clear immigration in London

Posted by
1398 posts

I believe the official name for immigration in the UK is now Border Force...is that correct?
Thanks.

Posted by
25724 posts

the action is immigration, the people performing the action are Border Force agents.

In the US the fact that FBI or ATF agents are performing police actions still means that the actions are police actions when they stop somebody.

So it is still Immigration, and still Customs.

Posted by
630 posts

Hi jjgurley,

So happy to hear you’re going to the Outer Hebrides!

With the long layover times, normally I wouldn’t be too concerned about clearing in time for the Glasgow flight, especially if you aren’t checking a bag. But these aren’t normal times. If your flight from Seattle arrives late, let a ground agent know about your connection when you deplane. In my experience they will help to make sure you make the Glasgow flight or rebook you.

However, regarding the Logan Air connection, I’ve flown a few times to Stornoway, and their flights can be delayed or with bad weather, canceled. Since you are already considering a backup booking, why not just plan on an overnight in Glasgow? Reduced stress and you can arrive in Stornoway after a good nights rest.

Posted by
96 posts

I massaged our plan many iterations (I started planning this trip for 2021 more than a year ago!). We're travelling alone for the first week, then meeting friends in Glasgow, so I wanted to maximize our time in both Lewis and Shetland. even with a bit of risk.

Besides, in more than seven weeks of June traveling in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland over the years, We've never had a rainy day, so I can't worry about weather :-)