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Customs Wait Times Reach Record Highs

Customs Wait Times Reach Record Highs

How long does it take to clear Immigration and Customs at Miami International Airport?

Up to 4.7 hours, according to a new report by the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group charged with promoting travel to the U.S.

Peak processing time at New York’s JFK Airport was almost as long, at 4.5 hours. It was 3.8 hours at Chicago O’Hare, 3.3 hours at Los Angeles International, and 2.9 at Washington Dulles.

The report points out the depressive effect of such bottlenecks on tourism and calls on the government to hire 3,500 more Customs officials to cut peak wait times by 50 percent, and reduce average wait times below 30 minutes.

Although the report’s focus is on the experience of foreign nationals visiting the U.S., the wait times cited were for both tourists and U.S. citizens returning home.

And with budget pressures making increased hiring improbable in the near future, the situation will likely get worse before it gets better.

Global Entry, anyone?

Reader Reality Check

How long have you waited to reenter the country?

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  • BobChi

    I’ve never had to wait over an hour, but even that is terrible compared to any serious country. Global Entry, absolutely!

  • LucreciaNI

    The worst delay we experienced this year was at Dallas Airport, in Miami I never had to wait over an hour

  • TheAncientAviator

    Global Entry means I walk past the 200 people in line and get out within 5 minutes. My time is worth more than $20 a yr ($100 for 5 yrs).


    this is insane almost 5 hours in some airports the good old inefficient government at work….. till we beg them to hire MORE GOVERNMENT WORKERS …and of course along with more government comes MORE TAXES just what our leader wants…

  • michelle

    You can’t use global entry if you are traveling with kids under 18.

  • Deon Charles

    If you experience poor/slow service, demand your money back.