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As a previously frequent tourist to the US, I assure you politics is an important consideration for me and my family. Many people of my acquaintance have also taken politics into account when making vacation plans.

I’m not aware of any studies on this, so anecdote is all I have. But for me, it’s “obvious” that politics is a factor rather than “obvious” that tourists only think of trends and exchange rates.

In fact, it’s now common (at least in my circle) for people to plan vacations to avoid changing planes in the USA, because of the delays in customs and the risks of missing connections or being denied entry to the US (required in the USA even if you never leave the transfer area).




part of the problem is that airports in the US have no "transfer area" - international departure lounges are not set up to require passing through immigration if you want to leave them - many are connected directly to domestic departure lounges (SFO is an example)


It'a not a decision made by US airports, the US requires every person who lands on US soil to clear US customs even if that person's final destination is outside the US (ie. the US doesn't allow sterile transit).


> It'a not a decision made by US airports, the US requires every person who lands on US soil to clear US customs even if that person's final destination is outside the US (ie. the US doesn't allow sterile transit).

Is it true that they must clear customs _in addition to_ passport/immigration control? If so that is indeed unusual.


Yes, you have to claim your bags, pass thru customs and then check them on to your next flight


Yes but the US is very unusual in this practice, I don't know of anywhere else in the Western World where this happens.


We traveled a couple of years ago to Milan via Amsterdam. My recollection is that we did have to clear customs in Amsterdam.


You were entering the Schengen area - the group of European nations who have a combined border - once you enter one of those countries you can freely travel to the others (so no passport booths on the roads on the borders between the Netherlands and Italy) - your flight from Amsterdam to Milan was an internal flight.

If you had flown into Amsterdam and transited to Moscow you would have gone thru metal detectors to the departure lounge, but not thru immigration


You traveled to a European city to a European city a Milan to Amsterdam flight would be a domestic flight. Did you need to go through customs again in Milan


I think France is the same.




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