Wednesday, May 22, 2024

One of the most annoying aspects of travelling to the US could soon change

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Last month I had one of the most stressful arrivals ever into the US.

My flight into Houston was late, the queues through security snaked for miles, and I had less than an hour to get through customs, pick up my bag, and then deposit my luggage again before the drop-off closed for an onward domestic flight onto Louisville, Kentucky. I made it, but only just.

Well, one US airline is launching a trial to help ease the burden of that annoying latter part of arriving into the country.

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One of the worst parts of transiting in the US is not being able to check your baggage all the way through to your final destination. (Getty)

Delta Air Lines is looking at forwarding bags directly onto the connecting domestic destination, taking out the need to pick up and drop off the luggage at the first port of arrival. Anyone connecting onto an international destination will still need to collect their bags.

Vice-president for the Asia Pacific region, Jeff Moomaw, told Japanese outlet Mainichi, the airline is looking at doing a trial with passengers from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport first.

“Anyone who has travelled and connected in the United States knows that it’s a difficult experience. We will soon be able to remove that part of the experience,” said Moomaw.

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Details are scarce at this stage, and it is not known how the system will work. Many smaller US airports do not have customs facilities.

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What was revealed is that should the Haneda trial work, it will be extended next to Seoul, London Heathrow and Frankfurt. Other international airports could follow later.

Writing in aviation blog Paddle Your Own Kanoo, Mateusz Maszczynski called the move a potential “game-changer” and would make “the connections process for US-bound travellers a lot easier than at present”.

– Stuff

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