Imagine you are returning home from a wonderful 2 week trip in Europe. It was wonderful and now your flying home. You have a 2 hour layover. In that time you have to exit the plane, fill out customs forms, wait in line in immigration, answer questions about where you went, clear immigration, gather up your checked bags, head to customs, wait in line in customs, answer questions about where you went, what you did and what you purchased, recheck your bag, head out of international security into main airport, and then pass back through regular TSA with their very long security line and hopefully make it to the gate just in time to get on the plane. Oh wait you forgot to stop at the restroom, 7 hour flight, you napped and you did not get up for anything not even to eat.
Can you take a simple step to make your trip go better?
What if by doing this one thing you could have an easier trip home and get more time for your vacation?
Then you should sign up for Global Entry.
It is a simple process that involves you filling out the application online.
Paying the fee, which is good for 5 years
Doing an in person interview (super quick)
They take your fingerprints
And you are done.
What do you get for doing these simple tasks?
First you will be coded as TSA precheck. This means you get to go to shortest line at security in the airport. You usually do not have to remove your shoes, you can leave on any light outwear, jackets, belts and also keep your liquids and laptops inside of your bag. This can make carrying on luggage much easier as you do not need to take everything out and back in again once you get past the security checkpoint. You are through in time to get a cup of coffee and a bite to eat and are sitting at your gate before the people who do not have pre-check get through security. So you just started your vacation early.
Second, when coming back into the country you get expedited to go ahead of (sometimes even the flight crew) and you usually have your own dedicated machines where you simply scan your passport and verify your finger print. Oh wait that is it, you are on to customs. When it comes to customs they simply ask if you have anything to claim and then you sail on through.
We have been on so many trips where this has been a godsend, not only making connections easier but allowing us to get to the gate in time to get food after a long flight.
And it is good for the next 5 years. And at that point renewing it is straight forward and usually just involves filling out a new form.
Here is the link to the US Governments website on Global Entry.
When we book your next trip be sure to let us know you have Global Entry.