We departed Melbourne on Thursday 28 February 10.55am and arrived in Los Angeles around 6am Thursday 28 February.
We arrived seriously, seriously jet lagged – I did not sleep on this flight, and John may have snatched a two hour doze. I calculated we had been awake for over twenty one or twenty two hours by that time. While on the subject of Los Angeles, many people had told us immigration officials are rude and offensive. So, I need to get this off my chest and there will be no further correspondence! Or comments on the blog! Thank you.
We certainly did not experience rude and offensive officials, but the entire immigration system is sheer total madness. The good part is they have colour coded the lines – we were the green line for ESTA Waivers. I think US citizens followed the red line. We first stopped at a machine of which I guess there were at least eighty of them, where we entered all the information we had completed on a paper version on the plane. The only difference being the machine scanned four digits on the right hand, and four on the left hand.
Then we joined the long snaking queue to clear immigration. I am not joking when I estimate there were at least two to three hundred people, maybe more, in this snake like queue. The absolutely ridiculous issue was non US citizens were joining the queue with orange ‘priority’ tickets. These tickets indicated they had an onward flight in a short time span. Now, in a normal world, you would create a special line for people with orange priority stickers. Not in the USA!
Numerous people were understandably extremely stressed, calling out to the ‘marshals’ – the people herders – ‘I have a plane to catch!’ The same response was given over and over: ‘Just stay in the queue – you have to complete immigration’. John wondered if they had a few defibrillator machines handy….
Anyway, back to handing over our passports to the immigration officer. Both our hands were scanned once again, this time including the thumbs. Everything was in order, our passports were stamped, and we walked away amid bustling crowds to find our flight to Mexico.
So remember. If you fly into Los Angeles and have an onward flight, ensure you have at least two to three hours between those flights.
In Los Angeles we waited approximately three and a half hours for our connecting flight to Mexico, then overnighted in a hotel within waking distance from the airport.