Connecting international flights in the US -- apparently airports in America don't do 'sterile transit'? I may have to fly back to Canada at short notice, and I've never transited through the US (in the trip I'm looking at, SFO).
My mom's going in for some emergency heart surgery soon, and being the only son, I've got to fly back to Canada.
The cheapest option by far ($500 cheaper for one stop than direct) is to go Incheon -- San Franscisco -- Vancouver, but all the flights I'm seeing have relatively short layover times between flights at SFO (on the order of 1.5 hours).
Normally, I'd think that was OK, but this
is telling me that 4 hours is the safe minimum time to transfer from international flights to further international flights at US airports -- that it is necessary to go through customs and immigration at the US layover when connecting to another international flight (in this case, to Vancouver).
Is that the indeed the case? In past, I can't remember having to do this (outside of the US) -- international transit didn't involve anything other than going from international arrival area to international departure area.
Does four hours seem like the correct minimum time frame I might expect to get from a flight arriving from Incheon to a flight departing for Vancouver?
It's going to be an exhausting trip, so on the balance beam between having to worry about maybe not making a connection and having to sit around for a longer time but be 'safe' I'm much inclined toward the latter. I could wait.
The first leg of the flight may end up being on or around September 11th, unfortunately, 10 years on, so I'm assuming security might be even higher than usual in the US, which adds an added level of difficulty (and probably delay).