We are traveling from Rome, Italy to Atlanta and then onto Seattle. Do you know when our luggage and us will go through customs? We are trying to book our airport shuttle home and need to know if we do customs in Seattle or Atlanta.
You go through Customs at your first stop in the destination country (i.e. Atlanta).
Thanks. That's what I thought but wanted to double check.
Both immigration and customs will take place at your first entry point into the U.S. which is Atlanta.
Just so you know, you will also go through security again in Atlanta, even though you will never leave a secured area. You will also have to claim and recheck any checked luggage.
Interesting that you go through security again in Atlanta. We start the trip in Seattle and go through security and then I hear we go through it again in Paris.
Both the US and the EU regards most flights coming from abroad as "unclean", thus all passengers have to go through security before they are let int the secure area.
Christophe, that may well be true, but in Atlanta you have to go through security again even if it is your final stop and you are leaving the airport. That doesn't happen coming into Chicago. And I haven't encountered that coming into the EU ever.
Okay, I thought I had planned our trip (next month) fairly well, but this is the first I've heard of this. We are flying home through Atlanta from Rome - is it going to be obvious to us what to do when we arrive in Atlanta? (ex: are we going to have to go to baggage claim and get our suitcases, or will they be somewhere else?)
Just FYI. Atlanta has a new International terminal that has been open several weeks now so if you end in Atlanta, no more ridiculous re-checking of baggage. I went through immigration/customs a couple of days after it opened and it was a breeze...again a couple of weeks ago and it took me almost an hour. My guess is that it's just a game of chance. Still working out the bugs. NancyP, don't worry about where to go and what to do when you land. There are people as you exit telling you where you need to be after you deplane. Baggage claim is clearly marked, but wear your walking shoes as it's a real haul if you land in the new terminal and not the E terminal. Even though it's learning curve, the ATL is still easier to navigate than a lot of other US hubs (JFK comes to mind). Best of luck!
Leslie, I came through the new international terminal in Atlanta four days after it opened, and I most assuredly had to claim and recheck my bag. To answer NancyP's question, yes, it's very clear where to get your bag and where to drop it back off. You actually take it from one room to another. They were still working out the traffic patterns in each area, and the wait at passport control seemed endless, but it is probably better now.
Hey Nancy. We probably passed each other:). If you are passing through ATL, you are correct. What I said is if you end in Atlanta, you don't recheck your bag anymore. That has been a huge relief for those of us who live here. We also go through a separate customs/immigration line...which has thus far not been an improvement. I'll give them time on that one though.
It seems like things are changing with checked bags and customs/immigration. We recently flew Paris-Dublin-Boston on Aer Lingus. I knew that there is now US Customs at the Dublin airport, so when we checked our bags in Paris I assumed we'd have to pick them up in Dublin, take them with us through US Customs, then recheck them for Boston. However, we were told our bags would go straight through from Paris to Boston, and they did. When we went through US Customs they had the bags up on the computer screen. They were somewhere in the airport, but I don't know where.