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Fly the Right Airline To Reduce Time at Customs

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If you’re running short on time, flying a carrier from a different country may reduce the time you have to sit in immigration. Yep.

Quite simply, most airlines tend to carry passengers who are citizens where the airline is based. Which also means, if you’re a non-citizen, there will be less non-citizens on the flight, making your turn in line pretty short when you go through customs. It might not work for every airline (or country), but it’s something that makes sense. Flyertalk user l’etoile explains it pretty well:

I generally find the majority of passengers on a carrier will hold citizenship in the country where the carrier is flagged. I find this useful as if I opt for a carrier flagged in a country I’m not a citizen of I am often only one of a few clearing immigration as a non-citizen, making my wait time rather short.

So now here’s an obvious question: why didn’t I think of this before?

  • Vaibhav Gadodia

    Yeah. This won’t work in India (or Delhi at least). There are no separate counters for citizens and non-citizens. Every Indian returning still has to clear immigration – a process which may only take slightly less time than a non-citizen.

    • Erica Ho

      @Vaibhav, yep, depends on the country. It’s a good theory though – some immigration counters are pretty much full no matter what, like the UK and the U.S.

  • Vaibhav Gadodia

    @Erica – agreed on these counters being pretty much full in the US (never been to the UK). I love the immigration in Schengen countries – it is the simplest and German airports are my favorite.

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