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Anybody have Global Entry?

If you have Global Entry and/or Mobile Passport, did it expedite immigration and customs for you? It seems so many of the flights I have been researching over the past few days and was considering booking have the minimum connection times like 1h 30min to 2h 30min (Amsterdam, JFK). To get longer connection times, I'd either have to get to the airport by 6:30am or I'd arrive home really late, neither which appeal to me. I'm not a frequent traveler, so my experience with this is limited. Would love some feedback from Global Entry holders.

Posted by
6439 posts

Global Entry does not cover entry into Europe; it only shortens possibly your entry when coming back into the USA.

It is not a way to circumvent short connection times. You would need a first class ticket to possibly do that as those are the first passengers off the plane and if you check a bag those are the first to come out as they are put in a separate container from the hoi polloi.

The USA CBP controls that and you can read up to better understand how it works
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry

Posted by
992 posts

It shortens you’re re-entry into the US considerably. My experience has been just a few minutes. If you don’t travel a lot, use Mobile passport.

Posted by
7757 posts

As indicated you wouldn't be able to use Global Entry at a European airport but it will help you get thru JFK. I used it there in 2018 and was thru the kiosk in minutes. The hold up was I also had checked luggage and mine was in the last group onto the baggage conveyor. You have to carry your bag thru Customs and re-check after you pass the custom's agent so GE doesn't help for that. IF you only have carry on you'll get thru quickly but I always check on the way home (everything's dirty so who cares if it gets mis-directed? lol)

If you have to get to the airport by 630, you'd fly out of Tampa, right? How about staying overnight at the airport? Back in the dark ages I stayed at that hotel in the airport (may have changed hands by now) a time or two to avoid that early drive. I fly from a very small airport 40 miles from where I live and the first flights out are at 5:20A. I do stay over in the town where the airport is located if I have to make that flight. Being there by 415-430 and having to drive an hour is just really difficult to do!

Posted by
53 posts

I am aware that Global Entry is only for arrival into the U.S. I was interested if it would speed things along at JFK, ATL or TPA which are the airports I most likely would arrive in from an international flight. I do carry on only, so picking up luggage and re-checking it is not a factor for me.

Posted by
5010 posts

I was interested if it would speed things along at JFK, ATL or TPA which are the airports I most likely would arrive in from an international flight.

The answer to that is probably (in fact, very likely), though by exactly how much depends on a variety of factors that are impossible to predict with much accuracy. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. IME, it's worth having and does save a good amount of time (though I have no recent personal experience entering at those particular airports).

Posted by
5904 posts

To clarify, Global Entry gives you fast immigration/ passport control when the entering the US. . It usually takes me tops ten minutes at major US airports such as JFK and LAX. I see the long, long lines and am so glad I gave Global Entry. I renewed ours last year after five years. Best $100 I ever spent. You basically walk through Customs after that, “Nothing to declare” unless you exceeded your $800 limit in purchases bought abroad. If more than $800 you would have to pay a duty.

Posted by
3341 posts

I was interested if it would speed things along at JFK, ATL or TPA

It definitely speeds things along at JFK, ATL, and even the cruise port in Ft. Lauderdale. If you plan to do a lot of travel during the five year period it's well worth the cost. If you only anticipate one or two trips probably not. Connection times are unpredictable due to the fact that many arriving flights are late. Our thinking is that a longer connection time is worth a bit of inconvenience time-wise. Better to be bored with a long connection time than totally stressed out about making a short one. Just one opinion.

Posted by
5010 posts

One other point to at least consider: more than a few credit cards provide a statement credit to reimburse you for the cost of Global Entry (you need to use that card to pay for it, then you're reimbursed, so in effect your credit card gets you Global Entry, including TSA Precheck, for free). These credit cards do typically come with a non-trivial annual fee, though, so run the numbers and weigh the costs/total benefits and see if it makes sense for you. In your case, it may or may not, but for many of us, it's an easy call.

Posted by
381 posts

Our experience with global entry has been very positive since the other line can get very backed up depending on how many international flights are arriving at the same time. Also, remember, you get TSA pre-check with global entry regardless of the airlines you are flying which will help you departing airports both domestic and international.

Posted by
3436 posts

I have it. Definitely worth the cost.

My only issue is that after practically sprinting through the Customs and Immigration lines, there is no TSA Pre Check for those connecting to a domestic flight at the airports I have been through. So you do save some time, but then you lose time trying to get through the total cluster that security is for connections. I have taken to exiting out to the airport lobby after CBP checks and then going back through the security checkpoint where there is a TSA Pre lane. Saves even more time. YMMV.

Posted by
7757 posts

"there is no TSA Pre Check for those connecting to a domestic flight at the airports I have been through."

Interesting you mention that, Mark. Since I've had GE I've mostly done immigration at SLC. They have not had Pre-check at the security lanes you are routed thru from Immigration but this last trip when I returned the end of Oct they had "partial" pre-check in that the initial screener hands you a yellow card so you can leave on your shoes, leave in 3-1-1, leave in iPad/phone/chargers. I did have my carry-on scrutinized and the person at the x-ray box asked (as I was waiting for it to come thru) "Do you have an iPad in there? It should have come out". I said - I had pre-screen - she said "Oh, I'm so sorry, I lost track of who had a yellow card. You're fine, then." There were separate lines up to the initial screener who then filed the Pre-Check's in ahead of the non-pre in most instances.

Posted by
5010 posts

Worth noting: while Global Entry is not the same thing as TSA Precheck (different agencies, they intervene at different points in the travel sequence, etc.), you do (or can) get TSA Precheck included with Global Entry (at least you usually do; I did). TSA Precheck is not always available - it depends on the airport, and also on the airline you're flying (not all "do" TSA Precheck), and there's always a chance of randomization (if you should get TSA Prechack, occasionally they'll randomize you out of it...that's just how they roll).

Posted by
38 posts

Yes global entry shortens your re-entry into the US. No waiting in customs lines. You scan your passport and answer a few questions. It’s even quicker if you have the app.

Posted by
5166 posts

Lori, GE has saved us from missing our connecting flights home at least twice, so definitely worth it for us. The TSA Pre status for US security screening is a bonus, that helps with all flights domestic and going international for participating airlines, so its worth that too. Global Entry status, gets you a Trusted Traveler Number (your GE number), but to get the Pre status, you have to enter your Trusted Traveler Number (i.e., your GE number) when you make an online participating airline reservation, so its not automatic.

Posted by
3144 posts

I am aware that Global Entry is only for arrival into the U.S. I was
interested if it would speed things along at JFK, ATL or TPA which are
the airports I most likely would arrive in from an international
flight. I do carry on only, so picking up luggage and re-checking it
is not a factor for me.

Lori, if you are arriving from your transatlantic flight at JFK or ATL, you won't need GE at Tampa. In another thread, you were considering connecting at JFK which is why I am bringing this up. 90 minutes connection does not account for late arrivals so i would NEVER do that.

Posted by
2041 posts

I have Global Entry and love it. I've used it 25 times over the last 5 years and have had minimal to no wait at US immigration/passport control 24 times (ATL, JFK, DTW). The one exception was September this year at JFK. It took about 40 minutes to get through immigration with Global Entry. There was a wait to use the machines and then people had to swim against the flow of people coming to use the machines to get in another line to wait to exit. I had read on Flyer Talk prior to that trip that others had had a similar experience in the few weeks before that trip. I think something new was being tried. The good news... it took seconds to walk through when I traveled through JFK in October.

there is no TSA Pre Check for those connecting to a domestic flight at
the airports I have been through.

At JFK, everyone must exit international baggage claim and re-enter the secure/"sterile" side of the airport through the various ticketing lobbies, so TSA Precheck is available (by default) there.

Posted by
772 posts

To add to what Dave said above about Pre-check after re-entering the country--in every airport it's always possible to exit post-customs (as if you were at your final destination) then re-clear security in the "regular" lanes. These almost always have Pre-check lanes open (though, always check the TSA website for normal hours of Pre-check lanes in the terminal you'll be arriving in.)

In ATL, last time I went through (02/19) they had Pre-check in the post-Customs security area, so no need to go anywhere else.

Posted by
2041 posts

@Eric... The last time I tried to exit international baggage claim at ATL so that I could go through TSA Precheck in the security area adjacent to the international ticket counters in Terminal F (before the TSA Precheck line was added in the transfer area), airport staff wouldn't allow me to do it!

Posted by
772 posts

Dave--sounds like you got some power-tripping staff that day in ATL! I was able to do it the one time I tried it in ATL, as well as in IAH. Sorry to hear about your experience.

Posted by
2041 posts

@Eric... That day produced by far my most bizarre international connection. I had gone through Global Entry and was making my way toward the exit. For some reason, the Customs guys were out chatting up passers by (first and only time I have seen this). One of them stopped me, started chatting, and asked me if Atlanta was my final destination. I said, "No, I'm just exiting so that I can use the TSA PreCheck lane upstairs." Apparently that was the wrong answer. He shot me a serious look and said, "You have been randomly selected for an enhanced customs check" (or something like that). I waited forever for a customs agent to search my bag, exited customs, and headed for the exit. An ATL employee blocked my exit and asked if Atlanta was my final destination. I gave her the same answer. She responded, "You can't do that." I said, "I do it all the time." She said, "The airport has changed its policy. You have to go through security for connecting passengers." Since the TSA PreCheck line now exists at the connecting security, I haven't tried to exit airside since then at ATL.

Posted by
772 posts

Dave--oh, my, what a unpleasant experience! I wonder what motivated both CBP and airport personnel to behave so annoyingly. As you said, not an issue any more with Pre-check available right after customs--thank goodness!

Posted by
2788 posts

Couple comments:

The Chase United Airlines Discovery card still reimburses the $100 global entry fee (just did it 5 days ago) and there’s no annual fee the first year.

I’m new to pre-check (other than randomly given it previously) and from now on, after 3 negative experiences, will remove my laptop and put in another bin. You’re allowed to keep it in your luggage but it seems 100% of the time to lead to additional screening and unpacking the bag. One time the guy was eyeing my Chipotle burrito from the bag like he was going to unwrap it looking for explosives or something. Would anyone go on to eat a burrito unwrapped for inspection by TSA?

Posted by
7757 posts

"Would anyone go on to eat a burrito unwrapped for inspection by TSA?"

My experience with food thru security is that it triggers a secondary screen in my small departure airport. We have "partial" Pre-check. It's the same lane, but I can leave on my shoes and go thru the old metal detector instead of the nude-o-scope. I always have food with me because I'm vegan and need to have some back up to airline food. Anyway, it's usually a couple of bagels in a ziplock and some Clif-bar type things. Once I'd just stopped at the grocery store on the way to the airport to pick up a sleeve of bagels. I always get diverted when they look at my carry on and then they usually run the explosives pad over the outside of the sleeve or ziplock bag. I've gotten so I just pack my food in a packing cube and have it out separately. I usually use an Eagle Creek packing cube and last time the TSA agent said it was better if I had it in a clear bag so they could see the contents. (I did not point out that the bagels WERE in a clear ziplock as I did want to board....).

And no...would not want to eat a burrito unwrapped by TSA.