How not to pick a line at the border

I was working in Canada last week and needed to cross back into the US at Buffalo.  I don’t like to data roam on my cell phone so I didn’t check wait times at the checkpoints and I followed my GPS to the Lewistown bridge that I always take.

I got on the US side of the bridge and I saw 3 lines.  The left line had3 RVs and 5 cars.  The middle line had about 13 cars.  It was hard to tell how many cars were in the right line, but it was shorter looking than the middle line.  I was going into the right line at first because I thought (in hindsight correctly) that line split into more lanes.

Which lane did I choose?  The RV lane because I used the logic that 1 RV is the size of 2 to 3 cars so that line was shorter.  What I didn’t realize was that lane had everyone who required 30 minutes of processing to clear.  Not just the RVs, but the cars as well.  I sat waiting for 1:30 until it was my turn and I just got the basic “purpose of visit, length, bringing anything home? welcome back.”  1:30 waiting for30 seconds of questioning.  I don’t mind the 30 seconds of questioning, don’t get me wrong, but I was curious what was taking the other cars so long.  They weren’t being searched and nothing was being passed from the car to the agent after the initial presentation of documents.  Other lines were moving much faster and many people who entered the border 30 minutes after I did cleared waay before I did.

I didn’t have time to gas up my rental, but I did actually make my flight!

Moral of the story is never stand behind me in a line (TSA, grocery store, anything like that).


Comments are closed.