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Short connection in Dallas to Chicago.

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Hey, my wife and her son's CR-1 Visas are complete.I have also paid their green card fees. They are coming from Thailand to Chicago with connections in Tokyo and Dallas. The visa expires in less than a month so I had to move fast when buying a ticket.

My question is concerning a short connection between Dallas and Chicago. People are telling my wife that 2 hours won't be enough for her to make it through immigration and customs and catch her connecting flight to Chicago. Is this a possibility?

If they do force her to miss her connection will they put her on another flight? Is it possible that she would hold up the flight?

I don't understand why they wouldn't do immigration in Chicago? Either way, if this is true is there anything I can do to stop it?

Edited by Ombada

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You have to clear immigration and customs at the first port of entry into the US -- no exceptions and nothing you can do do change that. Two hours is almost assuredly too short a time to clear immigration and customs, recheck your luggage, change terminals, and make the next flight. She is most likely going to miss it; the airline should work with her to rebook, but they won't make it easy. Personally, I would change the flight to either a more direct one or a later Dallas to Chicago flight.

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Like Jan22 says, you clear CBP at the first POE in the US.

Chicago is fairly easy to clear and reach connecting flights. I've managed with as little as an hour and 20 minutes because CBP is fast and you re-check your bags just outside customs. Not sure how it is at Dallas though. But then again, you also have to take into account that your wife's travelling alone with an 8 month old baby and coming on an immigration visa. They'll most likely take her to secondary screening, which I've been once, and that took about an hour, so two hours might be cutting it a little short.

If she's booked the flight ticket from Bangkok to Chicago in one go, i.e. it's the airline that's booked her in with the two hour connection at Dallas, then if she misses her connecting flight, they'll re-book her to the next one. If you want to re-book yourself, then that depends on the airline and the fare you have, whether they allow it or not.

Connecting twice is quite a lot, especially when you're travelling with a little kid. I would re-book to a direct flight between Tokyo and Chicago, to skip out of Dallas. United have direct flights between Tokyo and Chicago for around $1,000. Having more connections are usually cheaper but in this case, it might be worth the extra money.

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When she arrives if the time is getting too close where she may lose her connecting flight, have her talk to an officer and they may help move her to the front especially since she is traveling with an infant. It has worked for me in the past. Otherwise-if she does miss the flight-they will book her on another.

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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to Off Topic; topic is about flight connections.

Our journey:


September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
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there's a direct route from Seoul to Chicago.

but back to yer dilemma ?

the airline will rebook her on to the next available flight, if your wife actually talks with an airline human nearby. There's a reason the luggage is put in her hands at this stage - it's good she'll have it !

Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
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