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Air travellers on all Etihad Airways flights to the United States from this week will be able to experience the benefits of arriving in the US having precleared US Customs and Border Protection at Abu Dhabi Airport.
From Thursday 15 January US preclearance will open for the early morning EY103 to New York JFK and EY183 to San Francisco flights, both of which conveniently connect with inbound services from Mumbai, Delhi and other cities in India and the Indian Subcontinent.
The new early morning US preclearance operation complements the mid-morning one which caters for Etihad Airways passengers on flights to Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York JFK, and Washington, D.C., who all proceed through the facility.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We’re delighted that from this Thursday all air travellers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi will enjoy the benefits that US customs and immigration preclearance offers.
“Since its opening in January last year, the US preclearance has been extremely popular with air travellers, particularly those from the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East region. More than 325,000 people have passed through the facility, arriving in the United States as domestic passengers.”
The preclearance process provides passengers with the unique opportunity to pass through all required checks including US customs, immigration and security conveniently while in Abu Dhabi before they board their flight to the US, enabling them to avoid queues on arrival.
Another key benefit of US preclearance is that baggage security screening meets United States TSA security standards, allowing air travellers who connect onto a US domestic flight to have their baggage checked through from Abu Dhabi to their final destination.
US preclearance at Abu Dhabi Airport is the only one of its kind in the Middle East, and the United Arab Emirates’ capital is one of a small group of airports around the world to offer passengers preclearance into the US.
During its first 12 months of operation, the US preclearance in Abu Dhabi has improved the passenger experience through the introduction of automated passport control (APC) kiosks and greater numbers of officer processing desks.
The self-service APC kiosks expedite the US entry process for American, Canadian, and eligible visa waiver program (VWP) international travellers, by providing an automated process through US preclearance’s primary inspection area.
For the sixth year in a row, Etihad Airways was awarded the coveted title of “World’s Leading Airline” at last year’s World Travel Awards. In addition to winning the title of ‘World’s Leading Airline’, Etihad Airways scooped up a further two awards: ‘World’s Leading First Class’ and ‘World’s Leading Cabin Crew’.