• Global Entry may be worth the cost

    Stacy Sprenger
    One of CWT’s recent Top Travel Tips was “Register for the Global Entry Program.” Today, Stacy Sprenger gives us a closer look at the process and the benefits of joining the program.

    After a long (or short) trip abroad, wouldn’t it be great to bypass those long lines at customs and get on your way? The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry program helps travelers take a step in that direction. Time savings is well worth the $100 fee, even if you’re only planning a few trips.

    Photo credit: Ian L

    Photo credit: Ian L

    Global Entry members are allowed expedited clearance through customs upon arrival into the United States. Members skip the lines at customs and instead use touch-screen kiosks in the arrivals area of airports. At the kiosk, travelers will scan passport, scan fingerprint for verification and make customs declarations. They will then be instructed to proceed to the baggage claim and the exit. The cost for submitting an application is $100, regardless of acceptance. Once approved, Global Entry membership is valid for five years, and can be used at the airports equipped with Global Entry kiosks.

    To apply, fill out the online application. After CBP reviews your application, they will contact you to schedule a personal interview at one of their enrollment centers.

    Once approved, you also are eligible to participate in the TSA PreCheck program for travel within the United States, allowing you to move faster through special security lines and not have to remove shoes, belts, light jackets and laptop computers from your carry-on bag. The number of airports where TSA PreCheck is available continues to grow.

    Are you a member of Global Entry? What do you think of the program?

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