Remind me not to take any more one-night trips to Canada.
This week, I took advantage of a great fare from ONT-YUL on United to spend a couple days mileage running and one day in Montreal.
I have taken quick trips to Canada twice before, though both in Vancouver, and did not expect to be hassled after arriving from Dulles yesterday morning. The immigration line was being worked by three agents: two gruff looking men and an overweight woman. I find that that male border agents tend to ask more questions (especially Canadian ones) and did not feel like explaining why I was only staying for a day.
I got in the woman’s line and she started quizzing me when she saw that I was only going to be staying for one day (note to self: just put five days on next time). I explained to her that I got a good deal on airfare and could only set aside one day from my schedule to visit Montreal. She was not amused and sent me over to the "office on the right."
Inside, I was "interrogated" by a much friendlier female border agent about the purpose of my trip. Five minutes later, she accepted my story and I received a special immigration stamp in my passport and on my arrivals card.
Unfortunately, that secondary stamp meant secondary screening for my carry-on bag. I was interrogated again–more so than the previous two rounds of questioning–as the contents of my duffel bag were emptied out and closely scrutinized. I finally made it out.
I’ve heard of Canadian immigration doing this before to mileage runners, but this was a first for me. What is your experience with Canadian immigration and customs?
On my way out this morning I had another round of questioning by DHS and and accusation that I sounded like a "foreigner," but I’ll save that story for tomorrow.