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Los Angeles

How long will it take to clear customs in LAX?

We are flying Virgin Atlantic from London to LA, arriving in the evening, at the weekend. How long should it take to clear customs? 

Thanks in advance for your help.

3 Answers

top answer by
Lindsay from Los Angeles, California

It really depends on the time of day and how many flights come in at the same time, but in general I'd say to expect close to an hour to get through customs. If you can apply for Global Entry and get it approved before your trip, I highly recommend doing that to speed up the process!

3 thanks

answered first by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Maria,

It really depends, but every time I have arrived it's been fairly quick. Keep in mind that sometimes it takes a while for your luggage to come out, but once you have your luggage to walking out of the airport, it doesn't take long. Also the line before you get your luggage is usually quick as well. If you are trying to allocate time I would allocate more just in case (45 minutes to 1 hour), however if your luggage comes out quickly, the other stuff takes about 20 - 30 minutes. Just be smart about it, there are often multiple lines and for some reason everyone always likes to gather in one, so choose the shortest, make sure your form is filled out completely and correctly and you should be fine. 

Hope this helps!


3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

I always allocate an hour to get through LAX for me or picking up guests. But i've noticed it's been a bit less than that lately. 

Right now, foreign visitors have it faster than US residents because they have recently installed kiosks that take your photo and scan your passport before you even get to see the agent. It's pretty annoying for us US folks. I assume they will roll it out for everyone at some point, but right now.... feel good in knowing that you'll be able to get into my country faster than i will :)

your night/weekend arrival is something that i can't comment on. 

1 thanks

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