I just flew back from Iceland yesterday and had my luggage checked by the US Border Patrol. It showed two important things about them:
My luggage was taken aside at JFK airport in New York, but they didn’t tell me. At JFK you collect your luggage from the international flight and then re-check it in to the domestic portion of your flight–since I wasn’t told, I waited at luggage retrieval for my luggage and then had to talk to a worker who told me that it would be put on my connecting flight (although he didn’t know why). My luggage was not ready for my flight and was put on a following one–again I was not told, so again I waited at the luggage carousel and then talked to a worker. My luggage arrived a bit more than an hour later. In some sense, this isn’t a big deal (altogether I waited two or three hours that I wouldn’t have without the check), but it shows that the Border Patrol just doesn’t care about people–they could have easily let me know that my luggage was taken aside, but they didn’t; obviously they didn’t care if I had to wait for no reason.
It also show how inefficient they are. My flight arrived at JFK at about 12:30 and my flight to Boston left at about 4:30 (it was supposed to leave at 3:15 but was delayed). They had three hours to get my bag, search it, and put it on the connecting flight. They couldn’t do it. It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence about their ability to screen material.
Otherwise it was a very nice trip to Iceland, I’ll probably put up pictures later.