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    Traveling to the USA - Prepare the documents

    Traveling to the USA

    See the conditions for travel to and from the USA. See how you can get authorization and all the necessary documents.

    Consult all necessary information before traveling to the United States.

    Learn about our commitment to the customer, the visa waiver program and the mandatory information for anyone traveling to or from the United States.

    Commitment to the customer

    Learn everything about your flight.

    Consult the Contingency Plan and the Customer Service Plan.

    Learn about our customer loyalty programs- the Victoria Program and the loyalty program for companies,  tap|corporate.

    Verify the service charges and consult the list of charges for the following:

    In addition to these charges, you will also find our partners: United Airlines, Air Canada and SATA.

    As for our fleet, you can learn more about it here.

    More information

    If you need to contact us, you have the following options:

    Telephone: 800 221 73 70
    E-mail: talktoususa@tap.pt

    If you wish to contact the DOT directly, please use the following addresses:
    Aviation Consumer Protection Division C-75,
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.
    Washington, D.C. 20590   

    Website: www.dot.gov/airconsumer

    Consult the transport conditions.

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

    If you have a passport from one of these countries that was issued after 2001, you must use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to apply for an electronic authorization whenever you travel to the United States of America.

    To obtain the authorization, just go the website and complete the form. This process must be carried out at least three days prior to traveling. However, to prevent any possible setbacks, you can request this authorization before you make your flight reservation.

    Since 20 March 2010, airlines that allow passengers to travel to the USA without authorization have also been penalized.
    TAP reserves the right, as of that date, to refuse to allow passengers to board unless they have completed the necessary formalities.

    Procedure

    1. Enter the site of the electronic travel Authorization System and fill in the basic form of identification.
    2. You must show it on request when  leaving Portugal and at US border control.
    3. If the system replies “Travel not authorized”, you will have to apply for a non-immigrant visa at the nearest US consulate or the US Embassy in Lisbon.
    4. If the system replies "Pending authorization" you must return to the website 72 hours later to get the final answer.
    5. These authorizations are valid for 2 years from the date they are obtained and for multiple entries into the USA. If your passport expires, you must request a new authorization.

     

    More information at:

    United States Embassy in Portugal-visas for the U.S.

    Government of the U.S. visa waiver program

    Visa waiver program

    Passengers traveling to the United States for tourism or business purposes for 90 days or less do not need a visa if they are nationals of one of the following countries:

    Andorra Japan
    Australia Latvia
    Austria Liechtenstein
    Belgium Lithuania
    Brunei Luxembourg
    Chile Malta
    Czech Republic Monaco
    Denmark New Zealand
    Estonia Norway
    Finland Portugal
    France Republic of Korea
    Germany San Marino
    Greece Singapore
    Holland Slovakia
    Hungary Spain
    Iceland Sweden
    Ireland Switzerland
    Italy United Kingdom*

    *British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

    For more information on the Visa Waiver Program, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

    Required information

    For legal reasons, all passengers traveling to the USA must provide the following information when making their reservation:

    • Full name
    • Gender
    • Date of birth
    • Number and expiry date of passport or ID document
    • Redress number, if available

    The first 3 items are absolutely compulsory.

    Airlines are required to send this information to the United States authorities up to seventy-two (72) hours prior to departure of the flight or they may have to cancel reservations, even if the tickets have been issued.

    TAP thanks all its passengers for their understanding and help in meeting these requirements on a timely basis and ensuring the quality of our service.

    Access to passenger information

    See how the data passengers provide is handled. 

    Questions regarding access to passenger data

    US law requires all airlines operating flights to, from or within the USA to provide the department in charge of the United States Customs and Border Protection service with electronic access to all passenger data in order to prevent and combat terrorism as well as other criminal offenses considered to be serious.

    TAP complies with this legal requirement.

    Questions regarding access to passenger data

    The United States Customs and Border Protection has access to information about the reservation and itinerary (PNR) of passengers traveling to, from or through the United States, including:

    • passenger name
    • phone number or other contact information
    • details of the travel itinerary (date, origin, destination, seat number, baggage)
    • records and information provided during the reservation process
    The US Customs and Border Protection will not use reservation data considered “sensitive”, such as:

    • racial or ethnic identification
    • religious or political choices
    • health information
    Information on the passenger’s food preferences or any medical services requested can be used.

    Questions regarding access to passenger data

    The department responsible for Customs and Border Protection has access to the reservation records (Passenger Name Record - PNR) and uses the data to prevent and combat terrorism and other serious criminal offenses.

    Under United States law, reservation data cannot be disclosed. However, this data is analyzed on a case-by-case basis and information may be passed on to other government law enforcement and anti-terrorism agencies.

    Reservation data may also be used to protect the vital interests of passengers or third parties (e.g. in the event of a public health emergency) or in the prosecution of criminal acts and judicial or other proceedings required by law.

    Questions regarding access to passenger data

    Passenger name records are obtained by United States Customs and Border Control directly from the airline’s reservation and check-in system. The records are analyzed before the passengers arrive in order to determine whether any of the them poses a possible threat.

    Furthermore, the details are stored by the US Customs and Border Protection for three years and six months. If the Department accesses the data manually during that period, the data will be kept in hard copy form for the next eight years for auditing purposes.

    The United States Customs and Border Protection may take other technical and organizational measures to prevent misuse of these data.

    Questions regarding access to passenger data

    • Passengers may request a copy of their reservation records from the Customs and Border Protection’s database.
    • However, if there are indications that this may interfere with enforcement of the law or reveal legal investigative techniques and procedures, access to the records will not be possible.
    • Refusal by the Customs and Border Protection to disclose reservations records is subject to legal action.
    • Passengers may ask for their data held on file by the US Customs and Border Protection to be amended if the agency believes such correction to be appropriate and justified.