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OK this ESTA thing

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by Dawn, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    :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.
  2. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    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:
  3. lisaw
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    lisaw Serious Forum Regular

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    :surrender: Thats it I'm going camping in Dorset!
  4. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    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!
  5. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    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:
  6. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    :lol: it was definitely going that way :yes:
  7. ukwdwnut
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    ukwdwnut Director of Recruitment Forum Host

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    omg keith thats so damn funny, i would have keeled over with laughter :lol:
  8. uscwest
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    uscwest Senior Cast Member

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    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.
  9. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    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)
  10. chief
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    chief Earning my ears

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    :donald:oh keith, who needs wednesday night t.v. this is much better!!
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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  12. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    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!")
  13. Kate
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    Kate Serious Forum Regular

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    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!!
  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah totally :lol:

    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
  15. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    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:
  16. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    What's the deadline for doing this before you fly?

    I'm still psyching myself up for it. :sorry:
  17. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    I think I read somewhere that it was 72 hours before your flight.
  18. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    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.)
  19. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    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:
  20. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    she said the same thing last July!

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