Customs delays doubling your journey time? US Pre Clearance at Shannon Airport can save you time
We’ve all been there ... we want to get into the US, can’t wait to start our tour of business meetings or shops (or both!), but always end up being frustrated at having to stand in a long queue, often for hours at a time, to receive the OK to get started.
Truth to tell, it often puts a dampener on the trip before it’s even really started.
So what if I told you that, as a Box Office client, there’s a way to avoid those queues? For you to get into the US as if you were a domestic US citizen, with no need to stand in that queue ... and that it’s all completely legal?
Let me introduce you to Shannon Airport on Ireland’s West Coast. You may never have heard of it, or know nothing of it, but let me tell you, it’s a small international airport unlike any other in the world. Truly, it’s unique.
On 1st March 2010, this small airport became the first airport in the world, outside of the USA itself, to offer full United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pre-clearance facilities to airlines travelling to any airport in the USA. A short sentence that means what, exactly? Well, any passenger flying from or even via Shannon on either a commercial or private aircraft can complete all the US immigration formalities at Shannon. It’s like having a little slice of America on Irish soil. That means you effectively cross the Atlantic as an honorary American, arriving into any US airport as a domestic passenger, into a domestic terminal, having pre-cleared all formalities for US Immigration, Customs and Agriculture. You therefore avoid inspection delays at US International hubs and don’t have to queue for hours to gain access!
Taking it one step further, if you have to then take an internal flight in the US to get to your final destination, you’re already a domestic passenger in a domestic terminal, so unlike other connecting passengers who’ve travelled the traditional route, you don’t have to get from one terminal to another to make that connection. Your luggage isn’t an issue, either – it can be pre-checked at Shannon to your final destination, so you don’t have to wait to collect it when you get to the US and then re-check it for the internal flight.
The VIP pre-clearance facility at Shannon Airport, allowing passengers that unique, private and seamless passage through customs, is also hugely impressive. We all know that large, impersonal airports with lengthy check-in and immigration queues often taint an otherwise superb travel experience, so Shannon airport’s friendly and relaxed atmosphere - where nothing is too much trouble (unique in the airport world!) – is exceptional.
This unique service is not the only thing that marks out Shannon Airport from its international competitors: it accurately reflects its Irish personality by offering a highly professional yet relaxed and friendly environment and pre-clearance experience. Staff and service levels are personable, friendly, helpful and full of Irish charm, while still getting the necessary administrative and operational work completed quickly and efficiently.
For a small airport, Shannon surely delivers an astonishing airline and passenger experience.
For more information on how to get pre-cleared access to the USA – and for other fantastic experiences available on Ireland’s West Coast, if you want to stay and enjoy the craic over there – call Charlotte or Amelia at Box Office.