In general I'd recommend Wikivoyage over Wikitravel - the material seems fresher and it is run by a community rather than a corporation with heavy-handed policies.
Wikivoyage is now hosted by Wikimedia, the same nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia.
Please use Wikivoyage instead!
 Disclosure: As an admin, I may or may not have been one of the "unnamed co-conspirators" in the lawsuit before IB dropped the suit
Seconded. Wikivoyage was a fork of Wikitrsvel. The history is... interesting: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Brands#Wikitravel_a...
> US officials have said Canadians may be banned for life from entering the US for legally smoking it, or for working for or investing in the legal companies involved.
Which may very well be true, but cannot be verified without a source.
In my head, I've fantasised responding to border agents' questions of "why do you want to come into the US?" with "I don't. You're just in the way."
The user experience is appalling, from parking lot to gate.
I have visited places that take security very, very seriously (Israel, Russia, China etc.) and all manage to make the entire process more bearable than the United States. I don't really understand why they can't make their airports function.
Seriously, this isn't hard to understand. The US is an unfriendly, hostile nation. While most Americans, individually, are not unfriendly or hostile to foreigners, the government is decidedly so and has been for decades.
edit: Also Canadians in here, let's not pretend like CBSA's shit doesn't stink
Yes, this is a competitive disadvantage. I don't think there is a lot of money around to solve this problem. I'm sure if, say, the Port Authority wanted to have a sterile transit area in JFK, they could probably convince the federal government to allow it. But they don't care. Nobody with money cares. Therein lies the problem.
They have no concept of an airport getting 90 million domestic passengers a year.
I'm amused by the notion or implication that other countries are far more capitalistic and profit motivated than the US - when it comes to airports.
> International passengers traveling to, from and through Atlanta in 2017 rose by 4.86 percent to 12,033,865, while cargo operations were up 5.66 percent. Overall, Hartsfield-Jackson hosted 103,902,992 passengers last year...
Example: I travelled to Israel a couple of times for work.
Their security is world class, but they take a more predictive approach: having trained people interview all passengers even before checkin and look for subtle body language clues or inconsistencies, as well as your nationality/ethnicity/previous travel to gauge the level of risk.
This is effective but it wouldn't be able to scale for a country as big as the US (300M vs 8M people); these are trained professionals, not folks that get paid a low hourly wage as is the case with the TSA.
As a result:
The passengers have now officially entered Iran,
and no longer are allowed to enter the US under
the visa waiver program. This means if any of
them are flying onwards from Oslo to New York
(which many are) they have to go to a US embassy
and ask for permission. They might have to do it
for the rest of their lives.
It's a bad idea. It shouldn't be that way.
“Clearly, since this is the policy, it indicates that this is the will of the American people and a majority support the policy.”
Be sure to share that with their campaign: that's how you get that message through.
> Special arrangements will have to be made between Iranian and US authorities.
Which makes it sound like they worked something out so that this doesn't effect their travel.
The new passports won't have traces of their entering Iran, and the US will not get their hands on the old passports and never know they were in Iran.
> Have you traveled to, or been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011?
I wouldn’t recommend answering this or any other CBP question untruthfully.
They could do this only once every 10 years (after applying for a tourist B2 visa).
Almost expectedly; food, drinks and bathrooms weren't necessary provided, which is how the incident made the news in the usual "worst flying experience" kind of way.
In our case we got processed, and and assuming nothing flagged up you were given a temporary visa, told not the leave the city, and told to be back by a certain time. Or else.
But times have changed - I don't know what would happen now.
The charges against her work with Iran had made headlines nearly 5+ yrs before she was arrested, so she must have known there was a risk travelling there.
Because everyone in Canada has already forgotten about the hacking and IP theft from Nortel, right?
17 years ago, Hauwei stole my source code and pushed my employer out of a joint venture in Australia. I know that I'll never forget about it. Do you think Canadians have a short memory or are especially forgiving about tens of thousands of people losing savings and pensions?
Extradition is a normal process that happens on a regular basis when people commit acts that are crimes in both countries concerned. To describe this as "doing someone's bidding" first requires being unaware of or ignoring that extradition is a reasonably common thing in the world.
It's a run-of-the-mill legal process that the Chinese government has decided should have significant political implications for Canada and Canadian citizens. It's important to bear in mind that this was a set of decisions deliberately chosen by the government of China in response to Canada obeying its obligations clearly laid out in a readily available treaty.
As you so wisely and correctly note, no legal process is automatic. Yet routine extraditions, even of politically sensitive people, come quite close.
US citizens don't realize this is a problem because it doesn't affect them, so they don't try to change it.
Get the entire EU to treat us as crappy as we treat them and there will be pressure to change it. I say all of this as a US citizen who travels abroad somewhat regularly.
Also, it would disproportionately affect upper class and business travelers who are frankly more likely to get things done. Make it a burden for Bezos and Zuckerburg to travel and they'll raise more than enough stink. Toss in my company getting pissed at how much time I waste on paperwork every time I do an overseas trip and things could move.
Disneyland is super crowded on a huge fraction of the days of the year. There's just not a shortage of domestic customers.
In the 1950's when Disneyland opened, California's entire population was (very roughly) 11 million people. Today, there are (again, very roughly) 11 million people in Los Angeles County alone.
Since opening, Disneyland has expanded its ability to take in customers by cannibalizing its old parking lot, but there's not much additional, affordable room for expansion today.
And there are precious few fair-weather locations that are also economically and politically suitable for "another Disneyland campus."
It's also worth noting that the Disney Corporation, though large, has about 1/5 the stock market capitalization of Google.
Foreign visitors spent an estimated $87.1 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services between January and June. That includes spending on hotels, restaurants, entertainment, local transportation and airfares on U.S. airlines, though commerce doesn't break out how much of it was specifically spent on Magic Kingdom tickets or Disney Dining Plans.
International visitor spending in June alone rose 5 percent from a year ago to $14.6 billion.
The history behind this isn't as simple as politics. Many US airports have evolved without the physical separation between local and international departures areas. So all of the airport is "in" the US. That makes perfect sense given the geography involved. The bulk of US flights are local. Even with Canadian flights it is normal to clear US customs and immigration within Canada prior to boarding the flight to the US. So, rather than politics or protectionism, there simply was no practical need for separate terminals. Starting from that history, it is far easier to screen all passengers as they land rather than retroactively divide an airport into zones.
LAX is notable for having separate local and international terminals, but iirc everyone is still screened on landing.
Hong Kong and Singapore, as examples, are huge transfer airports where many passengers never clear customs.
On the other hand, we fly Air NZ to Sydney from LAX via AKL all the time. Transiting through Auckland is pretty easy (just an additional hand-baggage check as you exit the airplane into the sterile int'l zone), and getting better since the airport is finally getting expanded. Beforehand the airport was impossibly cramped.
I doubt I'll ever visit the US again.
Other airports may have relied on other measures to make sure transit passengers didn’t proceed into the US.
(There was also a related transit without visa program that allowed visa-free transit within the US, using multiple airports.)
(It was too much trouble to try to find the old pre-2003 regulations.)
Otherwise asking someone to get a US visa for mere transfer in an airport (as I understand getting a transit visa is as difficult as other types of US visa required to actually visit US, involving the same lengthy process, with personal interviews at the US Consulates, which in big countries like China, India, Russia could be located at the other end of their country), often to the same aircraft is very onerous.
At the very least the transit visa should be a made a visa-on-arrival with a small fees. I sincerely wonder why the US want to hassle people who don't want to, don't intend to set foot on US soil, but merely want to change planes in there.
I haven't travelled enough to say; I've noticed the 'sterile' zones in particular in Heathrow but of course they have a vast array of international flights, and their status as a non-Schengen country means virtually every transit will be an international one (in contrast to your fair point about the US being a large country with primarily domestic flights).
On a recent trip to South America, I was reminded of how few countries have sterile zones. I made the mistake of booking through Mexico, thinking it would save time, but not realizing I'd have to clear customs going through the country each way. I also took a number of flights such as Argentina -> Peru -> Chile requiring I clear customs on my connection, as well as going through exit and entrance immigration in each (another contrast to the US, which has no exit immigration at all).
I think I got something like 16 passport stamps in 3 weeks.
Speaking as a Canadian who regularly travels into the US, Canadians much prefer to clear US customs while still in Canada. It simplifies things and means that, should something go wrong, you are still in Canada rather than trapped in the US without a visa.
And I think that it is basically the flip side of your description. I think with such procedures the US is trying to reduce the number of people who are "trapped in the US without a visa" simply because the US government, by law, becomes responsible for managing, tracking, processing, administering, and, yes, potentially initiating removal proceedings for, such persons.
Domestic connections do require security, connections to US generally require preclearance security. Connections from most other countries also go through security.
The odd thing is that they don't separate arrivals: so you'll mingle with worldwide arrivals, go through transfer immigration with everyone else, and finally you show your boarding pass and get routed either to the departure gates, or to security, based on your boarding pass.
I've had connecting flights though Moscow and Doha and didn't need to "enter" those countries or have a visa just to switch planes. Sometimes you go though another security checkpoint, but I've never had to present my passport until I reached the destination country.
I then decided that was too much of a pain, and flew through Dubai instead, which has a vastly superior transit experience!
At least assuming you're not a member of a demographic for whom that's a potentially dangerous location.
Aliens (with certain exceptions) need either a US visa or an ESTA to transit through the United States. Technically speaking, the Immigration and Nationality Act permits transiting through the United States without a visa if certain conditions are met, but in practice this is not allowed anymore.
U.S. airports generally don't do that. Even when transferring from a flight between Europe and South America they request you to go through immigration and customs.
I recently did a transfer in the US, took me 2.5 hours to go through customs. I booked before the govt shutdown, so I hadn't anticipated the delay. Not fun.
I was on holidays to the US 12 days ago. Clearing customs & immigration in Miami International took less than 15 minutes.
No Global Entry, Economy ticket, so getting off with the rest of the cattle.
But yes, I have never, ever in my life seen a immigration queue that long, and I’ve taken some 50-60 flights in my lifetime.
Maybe it depends on airport design, but in Miami there is nothing stopping you from leaving the airport. In fact, we also experienced various issues with flights, and had to literally get out to check in area and chase airlines to take us (it is a long story, full of drama and missed flights due to external errors/issues).
US is special in this, now we heed the advice of many - don't travel through US in any way, potential troubles are not worth it.
Like most airports in the EU? I've seen prominent military style weapons throughout Heathrow, CDG, and Frankfurt.
> tv's with propaganda of 'how great the US is'
Really? Either the TVs are showing TSA notices what not to carry or they are on something like CNN. I guess CNN could be considered US propaganda hah.
> being yelled at by border security
I've never been yelled at by anyone at any border. My only immigration snag has been in Frankfurt when trying to leave the EU. My visa was stamped in Greece, but it had so little ink the German officer could not find the stamp. Then there was quite a bit of discussion with his partner in German that I didn't understand. Finally, I interjected that I entered the EU through Greece and they laughed and waved me through.
I have been treated like a criminal almost every single time at the port of entry, being asked the same question multiple times, yelled at for giving more information than was asked, despite being asked that exact information later on in the interrogation, and sent aside for further questioning.
This has been pretty standard in the time I have been here. Only in less than a handful of occasions have I been asked a few reasonable questions and been treated nicely by a CBP officer.
The exact opposite applies to my experience entering, say European countries, while not being an EU citizen. It's always been a pleasure, and taken no longer than a couple of minutes worth of questions, if any questions at all.
This was just my experience. Going through (some) US airports feels like temporarily stepping into the world of starship troopers.
Funny. The first time I saw machine guns in an airport was in Paris in the 80's and 90's. There were no machine guns in U.S. airports until 2001.
tv's with propaganda of 'how great the US is'
You should try Thailand. Or pretty much every other non-EU country. It's everywhere. And to be honest, I've never noticed it in American airports.
Not to mention being yelled at by border security.
I've been yelled at by plenty of border security agents. Austria, U.K., even Canada. Though the Canadian lady was trying to be funny.
Contrary to stereotypes, the nicest border agent interaction I ever had was in Germany.
A semi-automatic weapon can only fire once per trigger pull and then uses the force of the exploding round to load the next round from a magazine. These are extremely common in the US, but you probably did not see them since many are conceal carried or used only at home or at the range.
What you saw at airports were probably "machine guns" used by police and military to guard the airport. A civilian legal "machine gun" can run upwards of $10000 and is likely not something people would carry in public, even if it is likely legal to do so depending on open carry of long guns laws in that locality.
The OP is probably not American and so most likely took it for granted that this type of weapon would only be carried openly by security forces. As did I.
Now, this type of weapon is not available to civilians in Europe so most Europeans would probably think of anything that looks more "automatic" than a shotgun or a revolver as a "machine gun" owing to the lack of familiarity. As, also, would I. In Greece, where I'm from, it's common to use the word for "automatic" (weapon) to refer to both automatic and semi-automatic weapons, even though army service is mandatory and most men above 18 can probably understand the difference. Everyone else has only seen automatic weapons in movies, where everything, from slings on up, has unlimited ammo and rate of fire anyway.
to someone more familiar with guns, a "machine gun" is a large weapon capable of sustained automatic fire that would be mounted to a fixed emplacement or on a vehicle. a "light machine gun" is a smaller version of this that usually requires more than one person to operate effectively. I can pretty much guarantee you did not see either of these things in a US airport. at the height of post 9/11 tensions I recall seeing security personnel with rifles and submachine guns (small automatic weapons that fire pistol ammunition) at airports, but this is fairly uncommon today.
I've seen them plenty in France, Germany, and other European nations.
That said, I generally recommend avoiding transits in places that have restrictive policies or excessive landing fees.
But then had a similar reaction at a French airport.
Even as an American I find the US propaganda when you enter a little creepy. But I also found it odd that when I got to France I couldn't take a picture to celebrate because I couldn't find a single "Welcome to France" thing anywhere in the airport!
I guess we're just as paranoid about terrorism in the EU, as anywhere.
Best case, OP is trying to say he doesn't find that sort of security presence comforting/enjoyable, which is a perfectly cromulent opinion.
Nothing wrong if you are a foreigner avoiding it. I don't think the anti US crowd is productive here, because they still will have to keep the measures in place.