Arriving back in the United States after an international trip means clearing customs, which can result in lengthy lines. Even worst if you’re trying to make a connecting flight, as sometimes these lines can be over an hour long.
However, one of my favorite things about U.S. customs is arriving back from a preclearance destination. In a preclearance city, you clear U.S. customs before you board the flight, meaning when you arrive back in the United States, it’s treated as a regular domestic arrival and you can just walk off the plane.
If you have Global Entry, you’ll also be able to use it, when clearing U.S. customs in a preclearance destination, making that another benefit of the service.
TSA describes Preclearance as the following:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) air Preclearance operations is the strategic stationing of CBP law enforcement personnel overseas to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. Through Preclearance, CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports.
Here’s a look at the current airports that offer Preclearance for U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
- Calgary International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport
- Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport
- Montreal Trudeau International Airport
- Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport
- Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Winnipeg International Airport
- Grand Bahama International Airport (Freeport, Bahamas)
- Lynden Pindling Nassau International Airport
- Bermuda L. F. Wade International Airport
- Aruba International Airport
- Shannon Airport
- Dublin Airport
- Abu Dhabi International Airport
If you’re flying back from any of those airports, you’ll be clearing U.S. customs before you ever leave the country, meaning when you arrive back in the United States, you’ll be treated as a regular domestic arrival.
Expect to see preclearance locations opening in both Stockholm, Sweden and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in the future.
Feel free to share your experiences clearing U.S. customs at a preclearance location in the comments below.