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72 hour API deadline


King Pitcos
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I’ve got a flight booked to America on Monday. I forgot to fill in the Advance Passenger Information bit on the airline website until now, and it’s meant to be done no later than 72 hours before departure. I’ve missed that by about 20 hours. What happens now? I’m half sure this happened last time I went there and it was fine, but the 72 hour thing must be there for a reason. I’m currently on hold waiting to get through to someone on customer services at the airline.

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This has worried me a bit now. I booked my Wrestlemania flights yesterday with United Airlines and at no point did they ask for API and it isn't mentioned in my confirmation emails or itinerary.

I've put in my Visa Waiver Programme application too, which has been approved, do I still need to provide API at some point? Can any frequent fliers or just anyone more knowledgeable than myself help me out?

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The same happened to be a few months ago when I travelled with my dad to the US on Norwegian. Both us of had applied for our Visa wavier a least two months previously though. I didnt do anything else with the airline apart from enter basic details including that of my passport. Before mandatory airport check in a member of airline staff did asked to see your passport upon entering the queue. He asked if we had either a visa or a wavier. We kept a printed version of the acceptance email in our passports I think he quickly checked it there but cant remember. He put a pass sticker onto the back of the passport which was checked by airline staff. 

The wavier shows up on US Biorder Controls immigration system. So I think that's the main point where it is important. If you don't have a wavier they will potentially turn you away on arrival at airports immigration point. You must boh apply and have that accepted at least 72 hour before departure.

I had to also had to have two visas stamps issued a few days later at the US road border when we were entering back via the MegaBus from Canada as the agent couldn't find the appropriate Visa stamp. So he just checked his system to see when I entered and if I had the wavier. They didn't do any checks upon entering the bus.

Make sure you fill in your landing card correctly though as that asks such questions along with address of stay.

The same happened when I went there in 2009. That was with United Airlines and they didn't check. Border at Houston just asked a few questions.

So no I don't think entering the details prior is too important. Take a print out of your wavier acceptance to show the airline just incase and that should be acceptable.

Edited by maddog
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23 minutes ago, King Pitcos said:

Thanks Bicurious! 

neil is brill, from a quick Google, United seem to have a different system to most airlines, so with them you can only do it during the check-in process if it's the first time you've flown with them on that passport.

Thanks, I couldn't find it anywhere on United's website. I did find the info you just gave me on a forum that I'm not familiar with so wasn't sure if it was reliable. I'm all set with my documents then. Cheers.

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1 hour ago, maddog said:

The same happened to be a few months ago when I travelled with my dad to the US on Norwegian. Both us of had applied for our Visa wavier a least two months previously though. I didnt do anything else with the airline apart from enter basic details including that of my passport. Before mandatory airport check in a member of airline staff did asked to see your passport upon entering the queue. He asked if we had either a visa or a wavier. We kept a printed version of the acceptance email in our passports I think he quickly checked it there but cant remember. He put a pass sticker onto the back of the passport which was checked by airline staff. 

The wavier shows up on US Biorder Controls immigration system. So I think that's the main point where it is important. If you don't have a wavier they will potentially turn you away on arrival at airports immigration point. You must boh apply and have that accepted at least 72 hour before departure.

I had to also had to have two visas stamps issued a few days later at the US road border when we were entering back via the MegaBus from Canada as the agent couldn't find the appropriate Visa stamp. So he just checked his system to see when I entered and if I had the wavier. They didn't do any checks upon entering the bus.

Make sure you fill in your landing card correctly though as that asks such questions along with address of stay.

The same happened when I went there in 2009. That was with United Airlines and they didn't check. Border at Houston just asked a few questions.

So no I don't think entering the details prior is too important. Take a print out of your wavier acceptance to show the airline just incase and that should be acceptable.

Landing cards have been done away with I think? I've flown from Dublin to Boston and Providence 4 or 5 times in the last 2 years (Aer Lingus & cheap as chips Norwegian) and never had to do one. 

Also, if you forget the API the gate staff can do it in the airport for you on their computer. We forgot to do it for a flight from Amsterdam-NY in 2014 and the gate staff (Delta) did it, but had a bit of a moan at us at the same time, which was fair enough.  

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