Getting through immigration and customs can be easy or awful, depending on the airport.
The systems an airport employs usually plays a huge part in how long wait times are, especially at the world’s busiest airports.
Some airport customs are just much faster at conducting their checks. If you’re not enrolled in the Global Entry program, or another trusted traveler program, you’ll often face long customs checks if you fly frequently. In some cases, waiting in line and going through a customs check can take 50 minutes or longer. This is because some airports, especially the bigger ones, have protocols which must be followed, and some airports are more equipped to deal with it than others. For example, according to ValuePenguin, customs wait times at Orlando’s MCO and SFB airports are among the longest in the country, taking an average of 26 minutes at either of them. On the other end of the spectrum, Palm Beach and Chicago have the shortest customs wait times in the US, taking an average of 5 minutes.
If you want to speed up the customs process, there are a few things you can do. First, you can apply for the US Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, which allows pre-approved travelers to speed through customs. If you’re a part of the program, you can just present your passport or permanent resident card at a Global Entry kiosk and go through a quick ID check. Apart from that, to avoid hassles, make sure you’re complying with all guidelines with your luggage and carry-on baggage.