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Enough time to clear Customs and make my flight in Seattle?

I'm flying from Portland, OR, to Heathrow with a layover in Seattle. Unfortunately, Delta rescheduled the 2nd leg of my flight from Seattle to Heathrow (with Virgin Atlantic). The 1st leg of my flight from Portland would miss that reschedule so I had to rebook my flight from Portland to Seattle. This rebooking only allows me 1.5 hours to get my checked bag, clear Customs, and then get to the Virgin Atlantic hub (its in the same terminal as Delta). For folks for whom Seattle is their regular airport, is 1.5 hours enough time to do all this? While I think I know the answer, I thought I'd first check here.

As I will be staying in England for awhile, I need to take additional items and will have to check a bag. I haven't checked a bag in about 15 years! Thank you.

Posted by
8626 posts

It appears you have done a "DIY" separate flights, PDX-SEA, and then SEA-LHR. ?

When is this trip planned to be? What time of day? Fog at either airport could delay the 1st flight.

You do not have to clear 'customs' in SEA, for a flight coming from PDX ( or have I missed the news that Oregon is seceding?)

The commuter flights from PDX can park at some far end of a terminal, leaving you a long walk to baggage claim, then to recheck, go through security and get to your gate in 1.5 hrs is enough, IF there are no delays.

One time on a PDX-SEA flight, there was a 'special' passenger who was escorted off the plane by the police. The plane stopped short of the gate and waited until the police arrived and then everyone had to wait for the police to do their thing. Probably added 20 minutes to deplaning, which for me was no big deal, as all I had to do was drive home.

I would choose a PDX-SEA flight that gives you more time between flights.

Posted by
9712 posts

I agree with Joe regarding more time needed IF you are booked on separate tickets. I'm not clear on who your PDX->SEA flight is with? Is that with Delta?

IF you are booked on one ticket then your bags will be checked thru from Portland to Heathrow and all you need to do is get your body from one location to another.

And just emphasizing....NO outbound Immigration o Customs on this end. They will check your passport as you board.

Posted by
5576 posts

I must be misunderstanding something. If you are flying Portland-Seattle-London, there's no "customs" to clear when flying between domestic airports. You should be able to check you bag in Portland (when you check in to your Delta flight to Seattle), and have them check it all the way through to London (on their partner airline, Virgin Atlantic). You shouldn't have to touch it in Seattle.

Do you have a single ticket (PDX-SEA-LHR), or did you buy two tickets, one from PDX-SEA and a second, separate ticket from SEA-LHR?

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the quick feedback all. I got ahead of myself and misread my info from Virgin. David summed it up correctly. I do have a single ticket.

And joe32F - lol about Oregon seceding (well, some residents want to merge with the state of Idaho) ; )

Posted by
9712 posts

Oh great! Single ticket and you do NOT have to pick up your bag in Seattle. It will be checked thru to Heathrow!

You'll just have to move yourself to get you from gate to gate.

Posted by
11247 posts

Just make sure that when you check your bag in at PDX, the agent puts on a LHR luggage tag.

Years ago, I was on a flight to Guaymus, Mexico (GYM). They check in agents were tagging bags with GUM (Guam). I pointed it out and they scrambled to find the bags to put the right tags on them. This was before computer generated tags.

Posted by
5576 posts

Just make sure that when you check your bag in at PDX, the agent puts
on a LHR luggage tag.

Indeed, this should be standard operating procedure any time you check a bag to anyplace. ALWAYS watch carefully what the tag says before they casually toss your bag on the belt, and it disappears into the bowels of some airport, destination unknown.

Posted by
5 posts

FrankII - thank you for that information. Good thing your eagle eyes caught the mix up with GYM - GUM tags!

Pam - yes, get myself gate to gate. Should be no problem there : )

Posted by
3354 posts

Good points from Frank Il and David about tagging bags straight through. I am obsessed about checking the tag before it hits the conveyor belt! ;)

Posted by
5161 posts

I think that you will be fine with this connection. It does not take too long to go from gate to gate in SEATAC.