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In flight immigration

Reduce bottleneck at airports by doing immigration and custom formalities en route.
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I know the railways have been doing this for more than a century so maybe it is time for the airlines to catch up.

Just one or two immigration officials could check and stamp all passenger passports in the time it takes for the plane to cross the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.

They could have a data circuit from their onboard PC back to the official mainframe and anything they can do from their little both in the terminal building they could do from their little booth on the plane.

Anyone who did not get a 'pass' while airborne could go through regular processing on arrival.

This would save up to an hour of passengers time on arrival at airports like LA (that is economy class passengers, the rest of us get through in a couple of minutes) and even more at Heathrow, typically.

P.S. I know why it will never happen, the airlines just dont care what frustrations you face once you are out of their hair.

KiwiJohn, Dec 04 2003

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       Interesting idea. Might make it more attractive to become a customs agent, as you'd get to fly overseas all the time to board planes coming back.   

       Along the same lines, U.S. Customs has a presence in Canadian airports, so when flying into the U.S. from Canada you can do all your paperwork before boarding the plane. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Dec 04 2003
  

       *Soda? Peanuts? Visa?*
Letsbuildafort, Dec 04 2003
  

       But that would tie-up seats for the return flight. Paying customers may be further inconvenienced by being placed on standby, or have to take another flight just because someone's papers didn't check out.   

       How about waiting until enough are amassed for another whole flight, and send them all back at once. Or Immigration agencies could pool their detainees and those who could not fit on the bus, go back by plane.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 04 2003
  

       Further to Krelnik's note, a number of Caribbean airports also deal with US Customs and Immigration at departure.
DrCurry, Dec 04 2003
  

       Which still makes sense
Letsbuildafort, Dec 04 2003
  

       This is good. As a pilot scheme (OK, OK, sorry...) airlines might like to set this up for First & Business class only to start with. It might encourage more people to fork out the extra dough to fly in the front (and most profitable part) of the bus. If one of Sir Richard's minions is reading this, you should expect to see it happen in Upper Class next month.   

       Anything to solve some of the ground barrier problem for freqent flyers gets my bun.
phlogiston, Dec 04 2003
  

       The reason why the US likes to do immigrations processing at the departure end is to make it more difficult for folks to request asylum on arrival. The legal procedure is different depending on whether the request is made on US soil or not.
toiyabe, Dec 04 2003
  

       Rods Tiger, you have cracked it mate! It is pointless expecting the airlines to do this but the tourist promotion organisations might be interested! I am off to phone them now!!!!   

       Those who mentioned what happens is they fail the immigration check? The same situation applies now and I believe the airline that brought them to the country is usually held responsible to take them away again.
KiwiJohn, Dec 05 2003
  

       When you say "immigration" here, do you actually mean to say "customs"? That makes more sense.
waugsqueke, Dec 05 2003
  
      
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