We've all been there... we get to the airport 2 to 3 hours prior to our flight and before we know it we are running down to the gate because of delays due to long security lines. Or, we arrive at our local airport and are stuck on customs and passport control lines and make it out an hour after landing.
This unnecessary stress makes you feel like you're never arriving at your destination. There is one tool that can alleviate this problem and decrease the changes of getting delayed at the airport.
It's Global Entry, and it makes a world of a difference!
Global Entry is a program that allows pre-approved, low risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. You also receive TSA PreCheck when approved for Global Entry.
The application process is quite simple and totally worth it.
You need to have a valid passport or permanent residency card.
Apply online, you will need to pay a fee of $100 per applicant.
After a few days you will receive an email notification that your application has been processed. You'll need to go back on the website to schedule an interview at your local airport.
The interview takes less than10 minutes, they take your picture and your fingerprints.
You will be issued a Known Traveler Number at the end of your interview which you can begin using immediately. Be sure to enter this number into your airline reservation every time you book, otherwise you won't have TSA PreCheck on your boarding pass.
Here are the benefits, and Global Entry is valid for 5 years:
You get to use an expedited airport security line.
You will not need to take your laptop or carry-on fluids out of your bags.
No need to take off your shoes, belt or jacket.
You avoid long lines when returning to the US after an international flight. You will wait on a much shorter line (or no line at all) to use a kiosk. All you do is scan your passport, fingerprints and make a customs declaration. You'll get a special printout and be on your way, usually in less than five minutes.
No need to complete the customs declaration form on the airplane, you will take care of that at the kiosk.
You don't need to be a frequent traveler to apply for Global Entry. Even if you travel a couple of times a year, imagine how much less stressful your time at the airport will be.
One more tip, applying for Global Entry is only $15 more than applying only for TSA PreCheck so it's definitely a better deal.
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