This question is now trending in the 'hot questions' so it's getting lots of upvotes though it clearly shows no research effort:

Late last year, we had a the following poorly named and slightly less coherent question which is effectively asking the same thing, but about Japan:

  • International flight. The OP is flying US -> Japan and then transfering to a domestic Japanese flight and would like to know what the step-by-step process is. This was closed as too broad.

Why is the question about the U.S. OK but the question about Japan not?

(To be fair, I did downvote the U.S. question for no research effort. I could also swear that this is a duplicate of a relatively recent question. It might be worth having a canonical U.S. international flight procedure question, but it's not likely to be a high-traffic dupe target, and the question/answer would need to be fleshed out further for edge cases like preclearance airports.)

But for the purpose of this question I just want to know why the U.S. question is not too broad like the Japan question.

  • They're actually both closed now. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 3:56
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    @jpatokal -- But the U.S. one as a duplicate, which means that there is still technically an open question on the topic. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 3:58
  • 1
    The question about Japan isn't asking just about the Japanese intl-dom transfer, but the entire process for PIT-MSP-HND-ITM, starting from his domestic US flight. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 4:01

2 Answers 2


The significant difference is that the person going to Japan seems to want detailed instructions for every single step from the moment they first enter the airport in the US, through three flights to the moment they leave the airport in Japan; the person going to the US only wants to know what happens between getting off the international arrival in the US and getting on the domestic departure.


I have noticed that a lot of TSE questions are close voted, later reopened and go on to become popular questions with good and popular answers.

So, if you do not agree with a close vote, vote to keep it open or to re-open if it has gotten closed. That is the way the site works.

Besides, a lot of seemingly alike questions get close voted for completely different reasons, because the first who votes to close selects a reason and often it is not the one others would have chosen but they go along or find there are already too many to change the reason.
This is because all the work is done by volunteers, that is you, me and all the others here. And non of us have studied for it, so we do the best as we see it.

I would accept both questions as 'good enough to be re-opened' or 'stay open'. But that is not looking at duplicates, which are rather likely, surely for the USA question.
On the other hand, I would also not mind to leave both closed as they are rather broad (all international airports in the countries) and do not show earlier research.

  • 3
    The problem with voting against close or reopening is that very few users actually have that privilege. Looking at reps, only around 180 users have the required 3K rep to cast reopen votes. A lot of times mods close questions (probably just to keep the unanswered count low) before the mandatory 5 votes and then have to be pinged on chat or in comments to explain why the question isn't a duplicate or needs to stay open.
    – RedBaron
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 4:31
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    @RedBaron I agree. The competitive drive around statistics is a serious impediment to the quality of the site.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 14:06
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    It's also a structural problem with the site. It takes 5 votes to close, but during the time close votes are being cast, there's not really a equivalent "keep open" vote (there's marking it as ok in review, but that's not the same). So 5 close-happy voters can close anything, even if there's 3 dozen people who disagree. Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 21:31

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