Please note that because of a ban on carrying non-functioning (uncharged) mobile devices when boarding US-bound flights, there can from time to time be additional checks of electronic devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) for flights to the USA.
Data collection and data transfer
Under the ‘Secure Flight’ programme of the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), passengers are required to provide additional personal information for flights to the USA. This regulation also applies to flyovers across US territory, i.e. flights to and from Canada, Mexico and other countries in Central America, for example, which are scheduled to enter American airspace.
Further information about Secure Flight
Online input of additional APIS data for entry to the USA
For flights to the USA, airlines are legally obliged to transmit passenger data to the US authorities via the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS). This rule does not apply to passengers with a permanent resident permit (‘green card’) or to transit passengers. Besides the passport data, the following information is required:
- Country of residence
- Full first address during the stay in the USA:
- Zip code
Lufthansa passengers booking online can enter the required additional APIS data directly at the end of the booking process.
If passengers do not have all the necessary information at the time of booking, they can add the missing details later. By entering their name and Filekey (booking reference) here or in the password-protected area under ‘My account’, they can retrieve their booking and complete their data entries.
Enter APIS data online
APIS form for entry to the USA
Passengers can, of course, also use our paper form which is available here for downloading. To avoid prolonging check-in and boarding times and ensure a punctual departure, please make sure you have the required data ready in writing for presenting when you check in.
Download the APIS form
Requirements for visa-free entry to the USA
Online registration is required for travel to the USA. Online registration is through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization - known as ‘ESTA’ for short.
To ESTA registration
There is a duty on airlines to verify ESTA travel information: the transport of passengers wishing to enter the USA without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program will be prohibited if passengers have not received an electronic entry permit in advance from the US authorities.
There is a fee of US$14 for ESTA registration. As it is valid for two years you should register as early as possible. Lufthansa further recommends that you take a print-out of this entry permission with you on your journey. Registration can also be done by third parties, such as family members.
You will find detailed information about ESTA here
The process for entry into the USA
Automated Passport Control (APC) in the USA
At several of the airports which Lufthansa flies to in the USA you can significantly reduce your waiting time for entry by using the Automated Passport Control (APC) self-service kiosks.
You can use this service if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a return visitor from one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program
- You have visited the USA at least once since 2008
- You have a valid ESTA registration
- You are using the same passport as on your last visit
The service is currently available at the following US airports:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- New York - John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
More airports are in the pipeline.