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I have seen both Duty-free liquids on a connecting flight in the US and Can I connect through the USA with liquid duty-free purchases? but as the situations are different, I'm not sure whether they answer my question.

I am flying

Lima (LIM) -> Dallas (DFW) -> Vancouver (YVR)

All flights are with American Airlines and I switch planes in Dallas. As I understand it, there are the following options if I want to buy some scotch:

  1. Purchase in Lima. If I have access to checked baggage in Dallas, I pop the bottle in and re-check and I'm good. If I don't have access to checked baggage I'm in trouble.
  2. Purchase in Dallas. Same as above.

It seems like I need access to my checked baggage in Dallas in order to buy a bottle. Is this the case? If so, then will I have access to my checked baggage in Dallas? If not, then how does it work if I don't get access to my checked baggage?

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edited your title to clarify the actual question. hope that's ok and that I've not lost the gist. –  Mark Mayo Jul 16 '13 at 3:39
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@MarkMayo Sure no problem, that is pretty much what my question boils down to. That said, if I don't have access, I still wonder whether/how I can make the purchase. –  Scott H. Jul 16 '13 at 3:47
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ok tweaked to make sure it covers that possibility. –  Mark Mayo Jul 16 '13 at 3:49
    
Presumably in Dallas you can purchase it AFTER you've gone through security, assuming there's still duty free there? –  Mark Mayo Jul 16 '13 at 3:50

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

All passengers arriving in the US, regardless of whether they are connecting or not, need to collect their bags and pass through US Customs with them. If you have a connecting flight you can then drop your bags for the onwards flight. This is true both for domestic and international connections.

Thus you will definitely have access to your bags in DFW, and will have time to put the duty free into them before re-checking.

As you are connecting to an international destination you can also purchase Duty Free once you have cleared security in DFW for your flight to Canada, and then carry it on for your flight.

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Excellent, thanks very much! Are (1) and (2) above a reasonable understanding of my options? –  Scott H. Jul 16 '13 at 5:13
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I'll leave this as accepted because the situation when travelling from Canada may be unique. However, for the record, I did not have access to my checked baggage at either connection through the US. Going to the US, I actually pass through US customs in the Vancouver Airport. Coming back from Lima, American Airlines has some service that makes it unnecessary to clear US customs and my bags were checked through to Vancouver. That said, if I had time I could have bought my scotch without issue from the duty free and had it delivered to the departure gate at DFW. –  Scott H. Aug 21 '13 at 4:34
    
What you experienced coming FROM Canada to the US is what's called "pre-clearance" and occurs for all CA->US flights, as well as some flights from Dublin and Shannon in Ireland. However I've never heard of anyone coming from Peru not having to collect luggage on transit - that's certainly a new one for me! –  Doc Aug 21 '13 at 4:48
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I forgot a word in my previous comment, they indicated to me that it was a brand new service! I'm not sure if it is only for connections to Canada, or if it applies for connections elsewhere as well. –  Scott H. Aug 21 '13 at 4:52

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