Flights and Customs
Before you go
USA Airport Security Rules
Check the latest updates before you travel as for security reasons these change on an infrequent basis. The latest information can be found at: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information
Also make sure that any locks you use on your luggage conform to TSA rules otherwise you may find them being cut off so that your luggage can be inspected.
(at least 2 weeks in advance) if you are allowed to participate in the Visa Waiver program you need to fill in a E.S.T.A. (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) application, this applicaiton needs detials of your passport, flights and where you are going to be staying in the US.
For details of the Visa Waiver Program then visit the following webstites
For the actual application itself then visit
Please note – there are various other websites which claim to be this website and charge a fee to process your application – the direct website above is the actual one and it costs $14 as of September 2010.
If you are not able to participate in the Visa Waiver program then check with your local US Embassy as soon as possible to find out how you can get a visa.
If you require special meals or extra help (with wheelchairs , other disabilities etc) on your flights then ensure that you have followed your airlines guide for making sure that they are aware of this.
On the Day
Ensure you have all the tickets you need and are aware of all the times of any connecting flights you have to make (double check if you are crossing multiple timezones – althought your flight reservations should have local times on them)
Ensure you have your Passport and any other identification documentation as applicable.
Ensure you have a note of the address you are going to be staying at in the US – you will be asked for this at check-in and at customs when you land.
Ensure you are aware of any luggae limitations that apply to your flights.
Ensure that you have your destination address on your luggage tags on bags you are checking in.
Ensure that you have both your destination and home addresses on a piece of paper inside any bags you may be checking in.
Ensure that you have some dollars in cash on you so that you can pay for taxi’s / shuttle buses when you reach your destination and to purchase
food and drinks if you have to spend any length of time at an airport bvetween flights.
Ensure you have copies of any hotel / shuttle reservations in your hand luggage so that is is readily available when you reach your destination.