Buenos Aires via USA?

Fettucini

Registered
I am trying to book a flight to London for my girlfriend (an Argentine) in June and the cheapest i've found so far is with American Airlines. I am slightly hesitant though to book a flight going via America as have heard the customs there are a bunch of power happy arrogant tossers.
Has anyone experienced flying via the states Buenos Aires to London or visa versa? If so how was it?
 

EMR

Registered
Does she have a US Visa? If not she cannot transit, if so , it is not a problem. As long as she has her transit ticket and her US Visa they will not give her a hard time.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
I was stuck for a flight once, after Air Madrid went itstup (I got my money back) and the cheapest flight I could find at the time and at very short notice was with Air Canada: London - Toronto - Santiago - Bs As. No problems with US Immigration there. Downside is that flown miles are equivalent to a flight from London to Sydney; flight time is like London to Auckland.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
EMR said:
Does she have a US Visa? If not she cannot transit, if so , it is not a problem. As long as she has her transit ticket and her US Visa they will not give her a hard time.
If you are from the UK then you will know this already but there are two types of authority to travel to the USA for British Citizens in force at the moment: the Electronic Thingummyjig which replaced the Visa Waiver Scheme and the Visa which has to be applied for in person at a US Embassy which is for those who don't fit the requirements of the former. The reports I read (legal newsgroups) are that both types of traveller may be given a hard time by immigration in the US. As for transit passengers, I have heard more than one report of them being asked, on arrival, why they want to visit the USA and getting the hard time treatment for saying things like they don't want to visit the USA, they are just passing through - though I don't have attributions for those.

I am one of those Brits who has warm, grateful memories of the US after the war, has several good, close and dear friends in the US and so far - amazingly - I've never met face to face with any American who I've been able to dislike. I used to travel there but until US Immigration starts greeting it's natural friends like friends again, I won't be going there again.
 

tangobob

Registered
We flew via The States for Christmas last year.
I have to say that in NY the immigration guy was very good, he even offered to call us a taxi to see the city while we waited, this was on my return.
On the way out however, the guy we dealt with there was rude, arrogant, and completely lacking in patience. We did not unederstand what he wanted of us, and he was dammed he he was going to explain to two limies, God help anyone who struggled with English.
As I said we were travelling over for Christmas (My birthday also falls this time of year) even though we were in transit and the cases never left the airport, our cases were opened and all our presents were ripped open.
If it were not for the kindness of the Argentines and some on this site, we would have had a misserable time.
I think you can experience good and bad at immigration, but you are very much at their mercy. I won't travel that way again.
 

tangobob

Registered
elhombresinnombre said:
I was stuck for a flight once, after Air Madrid went itstup (I got my money back) and the cheapest flight I could find at the time and at very short notice was with Air Canada: London - Toronto - Santiago - Bs As. No problems with US Immigration there. Downside is that flown miles are equivalent to a flight from London to Sydney; flight time is like London to Auckland.
Also note that the times between flights are often 10 or 12 hours, add this to two long haul flights and you can be looking to nearly two days each way. Two days of no sleep, airport food, cramped and uncomfortable seating. Now look, you've started the nightmares again. :eek:

Seriously, unless you are very strapped, it simply is not worth the saving.
 

Fettucini

Registered
Ok thanks, think we will avoid going via America at all costs then. Also she has an Argentine passport so i suppose that will make it even more difficult.
I remember flying into Chicago about ten years ago from London and getting some asshole US custom interrogating me, really prowd of himself with something to prove, then finally saying "you aint going knowhere pal, you're going to the red zone" or something like that, so i have memories of bad vibes there.
No wonder there are so many flights available via US then! I guess everyone wants to avoid stepping foot in the country at all costs!
 

diego7david

Registered
in defense of new york, customs isn't bad unless you haven't followed visa or entry requirements or have some illegal or now banned products in carry on or luggage.
 

cujodu

Registered
The worst customs agents are in Dallas DFW Airport. I am always treated disrespectfully and rudely there (and I'm American, so it's not just limited to foreigners). Other airports seem to have a better team, Atlanta, Miami, JFK, LAX, are all excellent with immigration and customs. That won't help if she doesn't have a visa though. But I personally avoid entering the US in Dallas just because they are total assholes, little people with a little power, and bad attitudes.
 

Kat Powa

Registered
I flew Europe via USA once - Delta Airlines always makes a stop in Atlanta. It was an unhappy experience, a lot of hours between flights, and US border personell was very unfriendly. The Visa-thing sucks, too. It's quite complicated.
 
Top