United States immigration

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

terry nathan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Posts
66
Our friends on the Forum will perhaps remember the bad immigration experience Liliane and I had coming back into the States from Canada in the motorhome a couple of years ago.  We have spent the past week celebrating Thanksgiving in Seattle with John and Judy Maguire, and as this was our first time travelling back to America I was a bit concerned lest we had another bad experience. 

On arrival into Seattle (Seatac) the immigration people did their job as efficiently as they should, and were very cheerful and friendly with it.    When it was time for us to leave again John took us back to Seatac.  In the terminal we checked in with British Airways,  the lady was friendly - so much so she gave us an upgrade, whoopee!  Through passport control, then the shuttle train which links the terminals (and here a policeman saw us coming and he held the doors open for us), then on to the Homeland Security - US Visit booths where we had our passports scanned, the girls there were very nice and helpful, the security people where we were asked to remove belts, shoes etc -  again extremely friendly, doing their job professionally but cheerfully, and finally to the BA lounge, great service.  Whoever is in charge of Homeland Security, and in charge of personnel training at Seatac, should be awarded medals.  Unlike the immediate post-9/11 era the people are now absolutely at the top of their game. 

We thought you'd like to know that.

Terry and Liliane Nathan
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Terry and Liliane,

So glad to hear you had a good experience this time.  Let's hope this is more typical of customs and HS personnel than in the past.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,625
Terry and Liliane,

Glad to hear things went smoothly this trip. Having travelled in and out of the U.S. countless times over the last 35 years I have to believe your prior experience was atypical. It sounded like you might have caught a customs officer on a bad day. I've never experienced anything but politeness and efficiency by those folks whether we travelled by air, private boat, cruise ship, car or RV. Heck, when we arrived in San Diego on our boat a couple of years ago, I'd put our passports away in "a safe place" 3 months earlier and couldn't remember where I'd put them. The customs officer who detected my accent and had asked for either a U.S. passport or birth certifcate said "hang on, give me your drivers license and I'll call our office". 30 seconds later he said "you're good - you're in the computer" and wished us well.

Airport security was a different issue. It was previously done by private contractors and it was a disaster. The company eventually hired a new CEO, but he wasn't in the job very long before the U.S. government pulled the contract and hired their own employees a few years ago. I'm not suggesting that a government department can be more efficient than a private company, but in this case they were an improvement. I happen to believe that, given time, the new CEO of the private contractor would have probably turned the company around, but he arrived too late to save the company.
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,873
Location
Goodyear, AZ
T&L

Glad to hear about your positive experiences. Hopefully that will convince you both to spend as much time in the colonies as you did previously. We all miss you both.
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
Terry and Liliane,

Glad to hear your experience with immigration was much more pleasent this time. ?I all the travel we made in and out of the US, or any other country we entered we never had a bad experience that I can recall. 
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
I'm not suggesting that a government department can be more efficient than a private company, but in this case they were an improvement.

In policing functions, they not only can be, they should be.  Policing in general is what governments do, that is the base function.  If their chief officers are well chosen and they pay close attention to service and morale they can do a excellent job. 

If you want to see what that sort of thing can do, just take a look at the improvements in efficiency and attitude of the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles over the past few decades.  For sheer efficiency and effectiveness you cannot beat the Social Security Administration. 

The TSA is a tremendous improvement over the contract services they replaced.  Even as a citizen I can testify to the improvement in customs and immigration checks in airports.
 
Top Bottom