Peggy Clemmer of Memphis, Tenn., said it took her about 15 minutes at Newark airport on her flight from Shannon, Ireland.
"What I appreciated was they were so much nicer here in the U.S.," Clemmer said. "They greeted you with a smile."
When the lines grow long, there are fewer smiles from customs officers and travelers. That could be the case later this summer, officials said.
July and August tend to be the peak period for international into the region's airports, according to the Port Authority.
And this year, the numbers of travelers will be higher than the 9.3 million passengers who arrived in 2006, said William DeCota, the agency's aviation director.
"The weak dollar is attracting a lot of international visitors," DeCota said. "Then, on top of that, we have new international airlines and new international routes starting at our airports this summer."
How bad will things be on the customs lines?
"We are always worried whether there's sufficient level of staff to accommodate the demand," DeCota said. "You want to see people make it through the system in 30 minutes, but during peak periods last summer we had waiting times at JFK of approximately 2 hours."
Chronic delays that periodically dog international travelers at Miami International Airport are the product of too few passport control officers -- or outmoded facilities.
O'Hare is the first airport in the U.S. to implement Automated Passport Control kiosks
On average, immigration inspectors at MIA took about 50 minutes to process a planeload of international travelers, compared to an average of 30 to 40 minutes at other surveyed airports around the...
Port authority officials are negotiating with National Express Group for control of a long-term lease that would allow them to operate Stewart.