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Dawn
11-04-2010, 11:06 AM
How do I do it?

I have everyones passports now so I can get it done. Is it hard or is it just click that link up there and fill in a form.

For some reason it's making me really nervous. :thumbsup:

keith
11-04-2010, 11:08 AM
click in the link and fill :yes: just make sure that everything ties in with the details you give elsewhere such as API

Dawn
11-04-2010, 11:10 AM
You mean there's cross checking??? :unsure:

What if I do it wrong? :mental:

keith
11-04-2010, 11:22 AM
You mean there's cross checking??? :unsure:

What if I do it wrong? :mental:

It's somewhat debateable. When I originally spoke to them saying I was from a UK travel website and wanted to tell our readers exactly what to do, they said that at immigration they see information from a variety of checks/forms and they're looking for inconsistencies. One of the most common, they said, was an ESTA form saying one thing and an API saying something different (where are you staying when in the US) etc.

*HOWEVER* ESTA is valid for two years and people always tell me they don't bother updating them even though the next time they go they're staying at different places! So who knows!

I always make sure that the info is exactly the same as I put in the API and elsewhere and have never had a problem

Dawn
11-04-2010, 11:22 AM
Never mind, got to the bit where it asked for the address we're staying at and couldn't really put "no idea" so will try again when have the villa address. :rolleyes:

Kate
13-04-2010, 06:23 PM
I was just coming on to look for information about this! I was on Virgins website checking whether or not i had to have the new baggage allowance and came across this - i wasnt aware of it before today!

Kate
13-04-2010, 06:28 PM
Just looking at the website, its making me very nervous :unsure:

Dawn
13-04-2010, 06:33 PM
Me too. I started to do one but it made my hands shake.

Seriously! :sigh:

Kate
13-04-2010, 06:34 PM
I can believe that Dawn! Dont know what it is thats making me nervous, its something we all have to do - i just dont like it!

keith
13-04-2010, 06:37 PM
It's fine I promise

The ANNOYING thing is, they promised that this was instead of all the forms on the plane and guess what? we're now having to do both :(

Kate
13-04-2010, 06:39 PM
Oh great. They make me nervous aswell!! :lol:

lisaw
13-04-2010, 06:39 PM
I hadn't even thought about the fact that the accomodation is on the ESTA forms and we are going to a different place altogether this year! Is it OK to just redo the ESTA forms then even though our ones from last year are still valid? :unsure:

keith
13-04-2010, 06:42 PM
I hadn't even thought about the fact that the accomodation is on the ESTA forms and we are going to a different place altogether this year! Is it OK to just redo the ESTA forms then even though our ones from last year are still valid? :unsure:

yep :yes: this is what I end up doing all the darned time because I stress about it.

You can also update the existing one if the wind is blowing in the right direction and the website likes you

HOWEVER everyone else will tell you to relax and it doesnt matter. As long as its still valid no need to do anything.

All I can say is I do a new one, or update the old one, every time I go to make sure the hotel is right on them. Perhaps I'm just overthinking it (VERY prone to that :lol: ) but it's always been ok so far.

In fact last time at immigration, he didnt even scan all my fingers. Started to and he said oh you're already on the system no need to do anything else. First time EVER.

lisaw
13-04-2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks Keith - I will redo them, I stress about everything and the thought of immigration at JFK is scaring me to death anyway I don't need added worries! :lol:

Kate
13-04-2010, 06:48 PM
I dont think i could ever go knowing that i hadnt updated my form - thats just asking for sleepness nights if you ask me!!! :mental:

keith
13-04-2010, 06:50 PM
Thanks Keith - I will redo them, I stress about everything and the thought of immigration at JFK is scaring me to death anyway I don't need added worries! :lol:

Ah yes, JFK. The airport that tried to arrest me for kidnapping my wife :lol: memories memories

lisaw
13-04-2010, 06:53 PM
Ah yes, JFK. The airport that tried to arrest me for kidnapping my wife :lol: memories memories

:eek:

Well I don't think they will arrest me for trying to kidnap my DH - nobody would be as daft as to want to kidnap him! :lol:

keith
13-04-2010, 06:55 PM
:eek:

Well I don't think they will arrest me for trying to kidnap my DH - nobody would be as daft as to want to kidnap him! :lol:

Dont be so sure! I made that very same point as my first attempt at a humour defence and I can promise you, it didn't work well :lol:

lisaw
13-04-2010, 06:58 PM
Dont be so sure! I made that very same point as my first attempt at a humour defence and I can promise you, it didn't work well :lol:

No I bet! :eek: I think I might change my flights to Newark!

uscwest
13-04-2010, 06:58 PM
Ah yes, JFK. The airport that tried to arrest me for kidnapping my wife :lol: memories memories
OK Keith, you're going to have to tell us more on this one. :lol:

keith
13-04-2010, 07:23 PM
OK Keith, you're going to have to tell us more on this one. :lol:

:lol:

it was so completely crazy but you wouldn't believe how big a mess it got (ably assisted by my crazy sarcastic Brit humour of course)

All it was, when we got to the immigration desks, they opened up about 4 desks all at one time. So I, with all the cases, walked slowly to one on the left whilst dearest wife ran to one to the right.

So I turn around with all the bags and trot over to the other desk, annoying the guy behind the desk I was going to. I get to the desk wifey has chosen and the guy literally jumps from behind his desk and shouts STAY THERE!

I said erm we're together, "STAY THERE, KEEP QUIET" well ok I guess I'll just STAY HERE then. Dropped cases and smiled politely.

he says "ma'am are you here of your own free will".... given this is not a usual question, wifey says "erm" and looks at me .... "DONT LOOK AT HIM, ANSWER ME" in loud nasty unhelpful voice at which point she gets upset and says something like "I dont understand"... he says "you can answer, he can't do anything to you" at which point I think I muttered something like oh my GOD.

So other guy from the desk I was going to comes over. "why did you go to different desks" to which I said something like "oh wonderful my turn to talk thank you SO much, was wondering when you'd get round to it. Simple mistake, I went to that one, my wife, not having any cases to cart, got to that one a little more quickly"

So guy from wifey's line comes over stands about 1inch from my face and says I dont like your attitude and I think theres something going on here.

I, given pretty fed up of mr. immigration, said something along the lines of, ah yes the good old JFK welcome wagon, well done you. how about you calm it down a bit and I explain to you what happened.(I'm thinking but dont say it, I'll explain in very simple terms).

so he starts yelling and almost screaming in a I'd really like to just beat you to death but it's a bit public kinda way and another two immigration people come over to watch.

So now, four immigration officials all standing round whilst one of them has a REAL screaming fit. Two police officers come over and one says "is there a problem here?". Now you see, I should have said "thank you officer yes I hope you can help here, who would you like to hear from first?" but the whole idea of someone asking that given the huge shouting match in front of them just really appeals to my sense of humour and so I just starting laughing too much to actually talk.

Anyway it goes on for another 45 mins or so but suffice to say, the security back then mixed with a bad tempered prat of an immigration guy, mixed with my seeming inability to keep from being sarcastic :( just didn't make for a pleasant immigration experience :lol: (although admittedly slightly less traumatising that at an airport in Texas where the reply to one of my questions was "well we could just shoot you?")

The airport apologised, the immigration guy kicked something on the way past me back to work whilst giving me a "hope I see you on the street punk" kinda look and I've TRIED *TRIED* to not be such a wise ass.

It's got a lot better now though, certainly at Orlando. They've REALLY made such an effort to be friendly in recent years I must admit I can't fault them now at all. I even risk a joke or two.

Dawn
13-04-2010, 07:28 PM
Don't change your flights to Newark - they are just as bad as JFK - I've flown into both. My cousin got screamed at in Newark because she couldn't show a return ticket as it was in my bag with me at a different immigration desk.

As far as immigration goes Orlando is the friendliest place in the world compared to the New York airports.

And are you saying that even when I've wasted tons of adrenalin doing this ESTA thing I STILL have to do the green cards on the plane???!!!!!!


:thud:

lisaw
13-04-2010, 07:48 PM
:surrender: Thats it I'm going camping in Dorset!

Britchick
13-04-2010, 08:03 PM
sorry Keith but that's hilarious! i'm sure it wasn't at the time but...... They're about that friendly at Atlanta- they were shouting at someone in front of me because he went over the line too soon. Bit of a power trip methinks!

Slowhand
14-04-2010, 09:50 AM
Keith, I would have just loved to have been there with you, if only to back you up with a bit more UK humour!
Chances are we would have soon seen the inside of some prison cells though! :lol:

keith
14-04-2010, 10:02 AM
Keith, I would have just loved to have been there with you, if only to back you up with a bit more UK humour!
Chances are we would have soon seen the inside of some prison cells though! :lol:

:lol: it was definitely going that way :yes:

ukwdwnut
14-04-2010, 03:32 PM
omg keith thats so damn funny, i would have keeled over with laughter :lol:

uscwest
14-04-2010, 04:27 PM
Keith, that is almost hilarious, but I'm sure very scary at the time. I think I feel a bit more sorry for your DW than you though. Poor Helen probably had no idea what hit her. Sounds like that immigration official was having a bad day. Quick question though. Did you get an announcement as you were heading to immigration that ALL families should remain together? One would thing that the IO should have recognized that. Can't believe they thought you were kidnapping her.

keith
14-04-2010, 05:11 PM
Did you get an announcement as you were heading to immigration that ALL families should remain together? One would thing that the IO should have recognized that. Can't believe they thought you were kidnapping her.

I honestly don't recall but I must admit I'm sure I've heard that on previous trips :yes: and to be fair, we were trying to stay together but events intervened :lol:

I think it was a genuinely nasty IO either that or as you say, a bad day, mixed with my weird sense of humour.

Helen was scared and upset, but again, my sense of humour, I was amused mixed with a little bit of oh yeah go on try and intimidate me see how far that gets you you big ugly prat :lol: I knew I'd done absolutely nothing wrong and heck, they could search everything and research me till the cows came home and they wouldnt find any problem so I was totally up for the argument.

Of course, I was younger then and perhaps over confident as well as somewhat blissfully ignorant of the fact that innocent or not, those guys have a serious amount of power and couldve made things extremely difficult.

AND they have a tough job to do, especially these days, so I feel a little more guilty about being a wise ass now than I did then. (He really was an obnoxious muppet though who shouldn't be the first person anyone met when entering the country)

chief
14-04-2010, 06:25 PM
:donald:oh keith, who needs wednesday night t.v. this is much better!!

keith
14-04-2010, 06:27 PM
:laugh:

catrancher
14-04-2010, 06:43 PM
Keith, I would have just loved to have been there with you, if only to back you up with a bit more UK humour!
Chances are we would have soon seen the inside of some prison cells though! :lol:

Both of you come to Atlanta, annoy the immigration officers, and get arrested.

I'll come visit you in the pen and bring you cookies! :taunt:

Too funny!

Tom (:macwave:... at least you didn't say; "Hello. I'd like an argument please!")

Kate
14-04-2010, 08:09 PM
Do you know what made me laugh most about that story Keith - Helen going one way and you scooting off the other with the cases, then having to do a u-turn with them all again!! I can picture it!! :point:

I find immigration really scarey, if we get a friendly one it makes me feel so much more relaxed - i always think i look and sound really suspicious just because they make me so nervous!!

keith
14-04-2010, 08:41 PM
Do you know what made me laugh most about that story Keith - Helen going one way and you scooting off the other with the cases, then having to do a u-turn with them all again!! I can picture it!! :point:

yeah totally :lol:


I find immigration really scarey, if we get a friendly one it makes me feel so much more relaxed - i always think i look and sound really suspicious just because they make me so nervous!!

There's definitely an element of that and I'm sure it only ever makes innocent people like you and I feel guilty because terrorists really are going to be trained to be relaxed arent they.

I'm so impressed with how Orlando has turned it round though! They decided to change the way they dealt with visitors, I thought oh yeah right believe that when I see it, but they did it! I'm amazed how much more friendly they all are now

Slowhand
15-04-2010, 09:32 AM
Both of you come to Atlanta, annoy the immigration officers, and get arrested.



It`s worth going to Atlanta airport if only to hear that very nice lady saying that recorded message.... "You are now leaving concourse A, your next stop will be concourse B".
My mind goes to places it shouldn`t when I hear the tone of her voice! :lol:

Dawn
15-04-2010, 09:40 AM
What's the deadline for doing this before you fly?

I'm still psyching myself up for it. :sorry:

Slowhand
15-04-2010, 09:43 AM
What's the deadline for doing this before you fly?

I'm still psyching myself up for it. :sorry:
I think I read somewhere that it was 72 hours before your flight.

catrancher
15-04-2010, 10:50 AM
It`s worth going to Atlanta airport if only to hear that very nice lady saying that recorded message.... "You are now leaving concourse A, your next stop will be concourse B".
My mind goes to places it shouldn`t when I hear the tone of her voice! :lol:

Awww... it's been so long since I flew. You mean she doesn't say... "the color coded maps and signs in this vehicle match the station colors. Please move to the center of the vehicle and away from the doors"? :unsure:

The old robot voice used to say that. :r2d2:

Tom (:macwave:... this train is leaving the station. Please hold on.)

Slowhand
15-04-2010, 12:40 PM
Awww... it's been so long since I flew. You mean she doesn't say... "the color coded maps and signs in this vehicle match the station colors. Please move to the center of the vehicle and away from the doors"? :unsure:



It`s quite a while since I was there Tom but yep that`s about the gist of what that very nice lady said. :lol:

Britchick
15-04-2010, 04:34 PM
she said the same thing last July!

uscwest
15-04-2010, 04:50 PM
OK, thread derail time. I liked the voice on Slowhand's GPS device when we were in the UK. :tongue:

catrancher
15-04-2010, 05:22 PM
OK, thread derail time. I liked the voice on Slowhand's GPS device when we were in the UK. :tongue:

Well John, at least it's not a Skywatcher thread! :mental:

Tom (:macwave:... wondering what the GPS voice sounded like!)

Britchick
15-04-2010, 05:24 PM
I have Austin Powers on my Sad Chav!



Julie (yeah baby!!)

Isafari
15-04-2010, 06:12 PM
I think I read somewhere that it was 72 hours before your flight.

:yes:

Deafjeff
16-04-2010, 08:25 AM
click in the link and fill :yes: just make sure that everything ties in with the details you give elsewhere such as API

Where do I fill in the API or is that from the travel agents?

Jeff

Kate
16-04-2010, 10:35 AM
If you are going with Virgin you can fill it out on the virgin atlantic website

keith
16-04-2010, 10:36 AM
Where do I fill in the API or is that from the travel agents?

Jeff

Hi Jeff, it's usually completed where you booked the flights. So we booked with virgin and if I go back in to edit/view my booking now, I can complete the API on there

Slowhand
16-04-2010, 10:49 AM
OK, thread derail time. I liked the voice on Slowhand's GPS device when we were in the UK. :tongue:
You`re right John, she is a very nice lady on my sat nav, but the lady speaking in my DW`s system is a different kettle of fish.
Boy you sure don`t argue with her. :lol:

catrancher
16-04-2010, 12:22 PM
Boy you sure don`t argue with her. :lol:

What is she? German? :unsure:


Vee haf vays of making you turn right!
Tell me. You have any relatives liffing in ze old country?

Tom (:macwave:... would be a great bit for a Fawlty Towers episode!)

Slowhand
16-04-2010, 02:12 PM
What is she? German? :unsure:

Nah she`s not German, but believe me, if she says "turn right" then you definitely turn right even if you know that it would be quicker to get to your destination by turning left! :eek: :lol:

Kate
23-04-2010, 11:22 AM
Sorry to change the subject from the womens voices on your sat nav's - but i have another ESTA question!

Do you complete one of these for children aswell? And if you do, do you tick the third party box at the end instead of being the applicant?

Im really nervous im going to mess this up you know! :unsure:

Dawn
23-04-2010, 02:37 PM
Still haven't done mine...

keith
23-04-2010, 02:43 PM
Just updated mine from the last trip to reflect the fact we're staying in a different resort to last time.

Went fine but to be honest I doubt it really mattered

Isafari
23-04-2010, 03:59 PM
Do you complete one of these for children aswell? And if you do, do you tick the third party box at the end instead of being the applicant?

:yes: Even non-ticketed infants are required to have an approved travel authorization, if they do not have a visa for travel to the United States. An application may be submitted by a third party on behalf of a Visa Waiver Program traveler.

Kate
23-04-2010, 04:20 PM
:yes: Even non-ticketed infants are required to have an approved travel authorization, if they do not have a visa for travel to the United States. An application may be submitted by a third party on behalf of a Visa Waiver Program traveler.

Thank you! :hug2:

Isafari
23-04-2010, 04:22 PM
Thank you! :hug2:

No problem. How's the plans coming along?

Kate
23-04-2010, 04:38 PM
Im one of the strange people that doesnt make plans - just see what we feel like doing the day before!

Esmeralda
22-08-2010, 03:18 PM
:lol:

it was so completely crazy but you wouldn't believe how big a mess it got (ably assisted by my crazy sarcastic Brit humour of course)

All it was, when we got to the immigration desks, they opened up about 4 desks all at one time. So I, with all the cases, walked slowly to one on the left whilst dearest wife ran to one to the right.

So I turn around with all the bags and trot over to the other desk, annoying the guy behind the desk I was going to. I get to the desk wifey has chosen and the guy literally jumps from behind his desk and shouts STAY THERE!

I said erm we're together, "STAY THERE, KEEP QUIET" well ok I guess I'll just STAY HERE then. Dropped cases and smiled politely.

he says "ma'am are you here of your own free will".... given this is not a usual question, wifey says "erm" and looks at me .... "DONT LOOK AT HIM, ANSWER ME" in loud nasty unhelpful voice at which point she gets upset and says something like "I dont understand"... he says "you can answer, he can't do anything to you" at which point I think I muttered something like oh my GOD.

So other guy from the desk I was going to comes over. "why did you go to different desks" to which I said something like "oh wonderful my turn to talk thank you SO much, was wondering when you'd get round to it. Simple mistake, I went to that one, my wife, not having any cases to cart, got to that one a little more quickly"

So guy from wifey's line comes over stands about 1inch from my face and says I dont like your attitude and I think theres something going on here.

I, given pretty fed up of mr. immigration, said something along the lines of, ah yes the good old JFK welcome wagon, well done you. how about you calm it down a bit and I explain to you what happened.(I'm thinking but dont say it, I'll explain in very simple terms).

so he starts yelling and almost screaming in a I'd really like to just beat you to death but it's a bit public kinda way and another two immigration people come over to watch.

So now, four immigration officials all standing round whilst one of them has a REAL screaming fit. Two police officers come over and one says "is there a problem here?". Now you see, I should have said "thank you officer yes I hope you can help here, who would you like to hear from first?" but the whole idea of someone asking that given the huge shouting match in front of them just really appeals to my sense of humour and so I just starting laughing too much to actually talk.

Anyway it goes on for another 45 mins or so but suffice to say, the security back then mixed with a bad tempered prat of an immigration guy, mixed with my seeming inability to keep from being sarcastic :( just didn't make for a pleasant immigration experience :lol: (although admittedly slightly less traumatising that at an airport in Texas where the reply to one of my questions was "well we could just shoot you?")

The airport apologised, the immigration guy kicked something on the way past me back to work whilst giving me a "hope I see you on the street punk" kinda look and I've TRIED *TRIED* to not be such a wise ass.

It's got a lot better now though, certainly at Orlando. They've REALLY made such an effort to be friendly in recent years I must admit I can't fault them now at all. I even risk a joke or two.
OMG! Doing a search and find this story! Remind me NEVER EVER to go on vacation with YOU! :point:

Esmeralda
22-08-2010, 03:26 PM
API? What's that?

Slowhand
22-08-2010, 03:34 PM
API? What's that?
Advanced Passenger Information.... i.e. details about you and where you intend to spend your first night on entry to the States etc.etc.

Esmeralda
22-08-2010, 06:30 PM
Thank you Slowhand.

Scott1066
22-08-2010, 07:29 PM
Advanced Passenger Information.... i.e. details about you and where you intend to spend your first night on entry to the States etc.etc.

When is this filled in on the plane ??? With the visa

Slowhand
23-08-2010, 07:32 AM
When is this filled in on the plane ??? With the visa

I assume you are referring to API information?
This info is needed by the US authorities BEFORE you even board the plane.
You need to give this info to the airline. I normally sort out our API`s on-line, but I believe that you can do it at the check-in desk at the airport.

Scott1066
23-08-2010, 11:02 AM
I assume you are referring to API information?
This info is needed by the US authorities BEFORE you even board the plane.
You need to give this info to the airline. I normally sort out our API`s on-line, but I believe that you can do it at the check-in desk at the airport.

Sorry acting thick. Yes to the API. So we do the ESTA thing and we do this API before we go to the airport, something we also can do online (do we take this with us or is it computer logged) then we fill in a visa on the plane.????:surrender: I'm sure it was easier when i went last time

Dawn
23-08-2010, 11:16 AM
You do them both online and leave them online. You are advised to print off the ESTA form once it's done which we did but we did not need them at immigration. You just need to fill in a customs declaration form on the plane now - are you bringing in any food, plants, etc. No stupid green form that everyone does wrong - that's gone now.

Slowhand
23-08-2010, 11:39 AM
Don`t be surprised if you don`t have to show your ESTA form at Immigration.
We`ve had ours for nearly 2 years now and have been to Florida several times during that period, yet so far we have never been asked to show them to anyone.
It appears that once your details are "in the system" all is ok.

It`s advisable to take them with you though, just in case.

Dawn
23-08-2010, 11:44 AM
We had ours all neatly tucked into our passports and our immigration officer (mildly grumpy) looked at us and rumbled "I don't want to see those, just give me the passports" :eek:

Scott1066
23-08-2010, 03:30 PM
Just to throw another one into the boiling pot. I have just spoken to our agents and they said we didn't need to do one as they already have the info done???? Confuseddotcom.

Would it matter if I was to fill in another just to be safe

Slowhand
23-08-2010, 03:51 PM
Just to throw another one into the boiling pot. I have just spoken to our agents and they said we didn't need to do one as they already have the info done???? Confuseddotcom.

Would it matter if I was to fill in another just to be safe
Are you talking ESTA or API ?

Scott1066
23-08-2010, 04:59 PM
Are you talking ESTA or API ?
The ESTA thing we have done on line and the API is done through the travel agents I have just been on and checked. The only thing i'm now unsure about is there is a question on there. What are you doing in USA the answers included Staying in the USA or Fly Drive. I have put the latter. Slowhand it looks as though we are over there similar times

Scott1066
23-08-2010, 05:01 PM
We had ours all neatly tucked into our passports and our immigration officer (mildly grumpy) looked at us and rumbled "I don't want to see those, just give me the passports" :eek:
Thanks for the input whilst your away, we'll be well away from the computr when we're over there. And phones

Slowhand
24-08-2010, 07:05 AM
The only thing i'm now unsure about is there is a question on there. What are you doing in USA the answers included Staying in the USA or Fly Drive. I have put the latter.
As I don`t do a fly drive vacation [even though I always rent a car], I always check the box as "staying in the US".

Kate
24-08-2010, 09:50 AM
Just wondering, can you go back onto your application and print it off? We dont have a printer at home so cant do it - i wrote down the reference numbers that they give you though. You can bet your life if i dont print them off and just turn up with my reference number they will ask to see a copy of my form!

Dawn
24-08-2010, 09:58 AM
reference number will be fine. :thumbsup:

Kate
24-08-2010, 09:59 AM
Thank you Dawn! Not off enjoying your swim this morning?!

Dawn
24-08-2010, 10:01 AM
Coffee first before swim :D

Esmeralda
24-08-2010, 12:32 PM
As I don`t do a fly drive vacation [even though I always rent a car], I always check the box as "staying in the US".

Is it cheaper to do it this way Slowhand?

Slowhand
24-08-2010, 12:44 PM
Is it cheaper to do it this way Slowhand?Hmmm, not really sure. :unsure:
The thing is that whenever we go I tend to use my FC Miles to get a good deal on PE [or more recently UC] seats, and then sort out a rental car as a seperate issue.