This airport has the worst wait times for immigration and customs

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There’s nothing more exhausting than arriving at your destination after a 10-hour flight than being greeted by the dreaded long wait times for immigration and customs at the airport. Sometimes walking through a sold-out stadium can be faster than being directed into queues of snakes that only move a few steps each time as you struggle with the heavy leg effects of the flight.

To help you better prepare for wait times when you arrive home or on your connection, Upgraded Points analyzed data from 34 major international airports in the United States and ranked the biggest offenders and winners for times. queues at airports with advice on the best and worst times of day to travel. The good news is that on average, 52.86% of passengers are usually able to pass through immigration and customs from the airport to 15 minutes or less, while the average waiting time at airports was 17.88 minutes.

Waiting in line at the airport 800

We don’t expect anyone to change their final destinations based on these, but it can be helpful to set expectations for your airport experience, such as wait times and crowding. This is also something to keep in mind when you have multiple time options for booking flights, as certain times have been proven to move more easily.

Women queuing at immigration

The worst airports

When planning your next return trip or which airport you want to connect with, it helps to have an idea of ​​which ones you should allocate extra time to.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) became the first airport with the longest waiting times, with an average of 31.95 minutes (79% more than the average waiting time), and it only clears 16% of its passengers in less than 15 minutes. If you use this airport to connect to another flight, it is also in the top 10 worst airports for flight delays and cancellations.

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Fort Lauderdale Airport

The second worst was also a Florida culprit, with Miami International Airport (MIA) having an average waiting time of 23.61 minutes, while John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) comes third, with an average wait time of 23.58 minutes. San Francisco International Airport (SFO) follows with an average waiting time of 20.34 minutes, then Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) with an average of 20.26 minutes.

Graphical upgrade points on immigration wait times
Image courtesy of: Enhanced Dots

Upgraded Points noted that airport traffic does not appear to be a driver of immigration and customs wait times since Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport handles one-fifth fewer passengers per cabin than average. (30.11 passengers). Among the 5 worst performing airports, only Miami International Airport (MIA) sees more passengers per cabin than average, which shows that more people in the cabins does not delay queues.

People forming a line at the airport

The best airports

Airports where you can feel good about arriving that will likely have the quickest wait times include Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), who took first place. The capital of Arizona transports its passengers in 5 minutes on average and evacuates nearly 90% of its passengers in less than 15 minutes. PHX also entered the top 10 best airports for stopovers this year, according to a recent study.

Meanwhile, Denver International Airport (DEN) comes second with an average of less than ten minutes, followed by Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU), St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) all of which have an average wait time of less than 12 minutes.

US airports with the fastest and slowest customs clearance times at immigration and customs
Image courtesy of: Enhanced Dots

When is the best time to clear immigration and customs

Upgraded Points analyzed all the data and found that between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. is considered the shortest wait time of any day, with the shortest wait times occurring after 9 p.m. Early morning flights generally have longer wait times, with 4 out of 5 of the longest wait times occurring before 8pm. Returning from your trip, Sunday usually sees a shorter wait time, around 2 minutes less than the busiest day of Thursday.

It’s no surprise that during the winter months, when people travel less, they have lower than average wait times (between October and March), while the warmer months have slower times. above average (between April and September).

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