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  • davefl 1,413 posts

    In a word meh!

    As previous Esta holder all you can do is fill in the usual customs questions such as are you bringing in currency or food etc. You can’t add your passport scan unless you’re a US citizen

    And that’s all you can do. When you arrive at the port of entry you have to connect to wifi, or have data and then take a selfie. Then you join a specific MPC queue (line for the Americans). The info board as I entered the immigration hall said 60 mins wait for non US passports and 14 mins for MPC.

    Yeah right… there weren’t enough tensa barriers for the MPC queue. It told me that my desk would be number 12. When I eventually got to the end of the queue after 65 mins, 12 was closed, I went to 10. The guy at 10 refused to talk to me when I showed the bar code and sent me to the back of the queue for 11. When I showed him the code he said nope, not required. Didn’t ask me a single one of the usual questions, why are you here, how long, etc and just fingerprinted me and let me pass.

    So if you join the MPC line, and have data, you can avoid the main queue which wasn’t 60 min as noted above, I’d estimate 3-4 hours.

    Not gonna play this immigration lucky dip game any more, pre-clear at Dub will be my preferred route to the wilds of the US in future.

    RK228 224 posts

    Not gonna play this immigration lucky dip game any more, pre-clear at Dub will be my preferred route to the wilds of the US in future.

    The usefulness of the MPC app really depends on the specific itinerary/airport. I’ve used the MPC app in Philadelphia a couple times and I basically go straight through immigration with no queues of any kind and it’s so much easier than dealing with pre-clearance in Dublin, which I find really annoying.

    As previous Esta holder all you can do is fill in the usual customs questions such as are you bringing in currency or food etc. You can’t add your passport scan unless you’re a US citizen.

    There’s not really any difference in the app or overall experience between US passport holders and non-US passport holders. The app “scans” the passport only so you don’t have to add a few seemingly meaningless details manually.

    The app doesn’t save the passport scan/photo, all travellers need to take a photo of themselves on arrival, and there’s no practical difference between US and non-US travellers when you get to the immigration agent via the MPC line.

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    This is interesting. Which airport was it @davefl?

    I tipped a mate off about this as he was heading to Orlando a few weeks ago. He texted me absolutely over the moon with how seamless it had been to get through immigration using MPC.

    (For those not aware, the MPC app now allows ESTA holders to pre-file a lot of their info with immigration. It’s an app you download onto your mobile).

    Ladyshopper 124 posts

    I’m on a few FB groups for Disneyworld (no idea why I’m still on there to be honest, as no intention of going back any time soon). Anyway, people are absolutely raving about it on there in relation to Orlando, saying it’s amazing and they’re getting through in minutes.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    This is interesting. Which airport was it @davefl?

    JFK T4

    PeteM 778 posts

    My 3.5hr immigration queue at JFK T4 a few weeks ago definitely convinced me getting Global Entry was the right decision (last time queueing before having my interview).

    There was an article on MPC on TLFL the other week and the comments definitely confirm what @RK228 says – it seems to vary hugely from airport to airport.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    The line was shorter than the main line by about 3 hours in my estimation, but no recognition of it once we all got to the front of the line, the guys just didnt want to see the QR code.

    Bizarely had my passport stamped on entry for the 1st time in a few years. Brand new passport and he stamps on page 11.


    @Ladyshopper
    It just depends on flights and times. I was through MCO in under a minute in Dec without MPC. I’ve also been through JFK in under a minute on a previous trip.

    Froggee 986 posts

    I’m totally gonna give this a shot in June so thank you for flagging. From my preliminary googling:

    New MPC App Experience
    On November 9 – MPC travelers will no longer need to scan the QR code to validate their submission with the CBP officer.”

    https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/mobile-passport-control#:~:text=On%20November%209%20%2D%20MPC%20travelers,submission%20with%20the%20CBP%20officer.

    davefl 1,413 posts

    That makes no sense, as you need to take a selfie in the hall to generate the code before you can submit it and the code is valid for 4 hours and counts down in the app…. but as an Esta holder it only has your name and address in your app profile, not your passport number. But hey… not arguing with the CBP 🙂

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    I’m totally gonna give this a shot in June so thank you for flagging. From my preliminary googling:

    Must admit I’m surprised HfP hasn’t run an article on this already – and I know Rob is aware of it.

    executiveclubber 307 posts

    I’m headed to the Grand Canyon this weekend – I’ll give this a go, thanks!

    Andrew. 511 posts

    I’m on a few FB groups for Disneyworld (no idea why I’m still on there to be honest, as no intention of going back any time soon). Anyway, people are absolutely raving about it on there in relation to Orlando, saying it’s amazing and they’re getting through in minutes.

    That does sound good. We’re heading there in June. Last year it was 70 minutes for luggage to be delivered to the belt then a further 60 minutes queuing for immigration.

    Alex G 465 posts

    @Andrew. That’s odd. I’ve always cleared the border before collecting my checked bags. Usually find bags are in the baggage hall before I am.

    TMG 10 posts

    Baggage before immigration on arrival in New Orleans

    The real Swiss Tony 700 posts

    Bags before immigration seems to be what they do now when they remodel airports. Austin adopted that route years back and the new terminal at MCO is the same I’m told.

    Great thing is if the airport doesn’t have loads of flights, it works great as HBO pax are not hanging around in an immigration queue when those with bags will be waiting at the belt anyway.

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