I'm travelling with a student VISA to Pittsburgh. I'm flying from Lisbon and the flight connections are to Newark, Boston or Philadelphia. I would like to know if there's an "ideal" option between these. In order to avoid delays getting stuck in long lines and missing the next flight.

  • I went through customs and immigration in 5 minutes at Seattle Tacoma on a Saturday afternoon.
    – gerrit
    May 7, 2014 at 22:16
  • 1
    Why the close votes? This seems a legit question to me, although knowing the arrival times would be handy. May 8, 2014 at 1:18
  • 2
    From the title alone it was quite subjective and broad (there area lot of international airports). The content clarified this, but not everyone may have spotted that. I've updated the title in the hope that helps.
    – Mark Mayo
    May 8, 2014 at 1:37
  • Of which country are you a national? Portugal? and is your country of birth also Portugal? And is this the first time you're traveling on that student visa?
    – smci
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


I'd go with Boston of those three options, but it is hugely dependent on time of day, and what other flights arrive before/after your arrival, but for your connections, the most important thing is layover time. I'd try to maximize layover time, so while Boston has less traffic (only slightly from PHL) (significantly from Newark), if you can get an extra 20 minutes on your Philadelphia layover, I'd take that. Also, just reading the tripadvisor forums, people generally report 40 mins to get through customs in Boston, a little under an hour in Philly, a dab over an hour at Newark, at peak times.

Source for preference: professional experience


I would also go with Boston, as years ago, I got through immigration pretty quickly. However, it may be more important to determine whether you will have to change terminals, and/or whether you can check through your baggage.

In any case, give sufficient time for the transfer; depending on the connecting flight and airline, give even a bit more, or you may be stranded for the day (if bad comes to worse).

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