U.S. Customs and travel

I’m back in L.A. after 4 days in Montreal on business. When returning to the States from Montreal, you clear U.S. Customs in the Montreal Airport which is both handy and a bit weird, going through U.S. Customs while on foreign soil. The first question they ask is, were you born in the United States. Why should that matter if you already have a U.S. passport? And wouldn’t they already know that anyway?

Here’s a tip, if carrying a notebook computer, always take it out of the briefcase and put it on a tray by itself for the scanners. I forgot to do this while leaving L.A. and this really honks them off, like you just made an annoying deeply clueless rookie mistake.

I listened to Adam Curry’s podcasts while in Montreal. He got stuck in Phoenix because America West had some monumental screwup resulting in all flights being cancelled with incoming luggage vanishing into a black hole. Others have had similar experiences with America West, who are currently merging with US Airways. Regular readers of Polizeros will recall my experiences with US Airways in late Dec. last year, when they lost thousands of pieces of luggage on the East Coast, which almosr resulted in Sue and I getting married in jeans, not the wedding attire that was in the luggage.

The new merged airline – maybe they could call it America’s Worst Airways? -, is definitely one to never ever fly on. Air Canana, on the other hand, was forced to take off an hour late to Chicago on my return because of high winds somewhere. They made up 30 minutes enroute, arriving only 30 minutes late, and I walked off the plane literally 5 minutes after touchdown – and thus made my connecting flight back to LA. They are a pro airline.