Security measures in the USA have always been extensive, and now more than ever border patrol agents and guards at USA airports take every precaution to ensure the maximum safety of passengers, and the country itself.
As with any other flight, you will have to comply with international regulations regarding your luggage. There are items that cannot be carried, items that cannot be carried in hand luggage, and certain size restrictions for your bags. Remember, if you are carrying liquids or gels in your hand luggage, they must be in containers of no more than 100ml, all of which must be sealed in an airtight bag. If this is not the case, these items will be confiscated as you go through security.
When you arrive in the USA, the decision as to whether to allow you entry into the country is down to the border patrol agents. Your ESTA grants you administrative access into the country without a visa, but it is the responsibility of these agents to ensure that your reasons for travel are legitimate. This can be a little intimidating, but it is a perfectly normal process and is carried out in everybody’s best interests.
Travelers should be prepared to explain what their intentions are in the USA, which more often than not will be related to tourism, or perhaps business or medical arrangements. This may be require rather detailed explanations, such as your itinerary and line of work. Remember, providing that your online ESTA application was truthful and fulfilled all the necessary criteria, there is nothing to worry about; border agents are inquisitive because they have to be, so don’t take it personally.
Be prepared to respond to questions about what you do for a living; this is generally to ensure that you are not seeking work in the USA, and to confirm that you have the necessary funds to carry out your trip (particularly if you’re staying in the country for a few weeks or more). You may also be asked for the address and contact numbers of where you are staying in the USA. If you are staying with friends, or in a hotel or hostel, have all the details to hand so as to facilitate the process as much as possible upon landing. It’s always a good idea to keep this information onyour person or in your hand luggage, as you won’t have access to your hold luggage when passing through immigration control.
Security is rigorous in the USA, which can seem intimidating on the surface. Just remember, be friendly and honest and help out wherever possible, which will ensure that you’re out of the airport and embarking on your new adventure in no time!