United changed our departure from Victoria, BC, Canada to SFO which only leaves us one hour to transfer in SFO to our flight to LHR.
Is this even possible? Any advice or experience is welcome.

  • 1
    Yes it's possible or they would have changed your second flight, too.
    – phoog
    Dec 27, 2015 at 0:40
  • 3
    @phoog my experience is that United do not check such things. When they delayed my flight (notififcation ~14 hours in advance) such that it would mean I would miss the following 2 flights, I had to point this out to them. THey left the itenary as was and made no attempt to correct.
    – CMaster
    Dec 27, 2015 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


Victoria is one of the few airports in Canada that does NOT have US immigration pre-clearance for flights to the US, thus on arrival at SFO you will need to pass through immigration, re-collect your bags, go through customs, re-check bags, re-clear security and then head to your gate.

If you have Global Entry/Nexus and have no checked bags then it's possibly that you might be able to do this within 1 hour (well, 45 minutes before the boarding cut-off time) - but otherwise I'd say that it's extremely unlikely bordering on impossible.

60 minutes is also below the allowed MCT (Minimum Connection Time) for United international to international flights at SFO, which means that United would not sell you this connection if you asked for it.

You should contact United and point out that this is not sufficient time for your connection and see what other options are available.

(Thanks to Alexander Woo for pointing out that Victoria airport doesn't have Pre-clearance, even though the ferry terminal does!)

  • 2
    Victoria does NOT have preclearance. (Only YVR, YEG, YYC, YWG, YYZ, YOW, YUL, and YHZ have preclearance.) A flight from Victoria to SFO will clear US immigration in SFO. Dec 27, 2015 at 5:47
  • Indeed you are correct! I did check the CBP website before answering and it listed Victoria, but it turns out that this is actually at the Belleville ferry terminal in Victoria, not the airport!
    – Doc
    Dec 27, 2015 at 6:19
  • 1
    Actually you don't have to re-check your bags; bags will be checked through - you should claim them and then drop them on the dedicated station. I'm not sure if this is why your answer was downvoted, because other than this minor issue; its right on point. Dec 27, 2015 at 7:15
  • It was downvoted before the edit - it has now been undownvoted. Dec 27, 2015 at 7:21
  • @BurhanKhalid Technically when you drop your bags (and they are scanned) you are checking them in again. They will have been tagged all the way though, but when they are returned to you in SFO the airline will record that they no longer have possession of the bag, and it's not until they re-scan them that they become "checked bags" again.
    – Doc
    Dec 27, 2015 at 7:50

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