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Global Entry

Since we last traveled internationally, Global Entry has become available. It costs $100 per person and is good for 1 year. Has anyone used it and benefitted? Any opinions yeah or nay.

Posted by
1588 posts

It is good for 5 years. Our last immigration stand in line lasted 2 hours and was this past October. The system was down and it was chaos. We now have global entry and will be using it the end of this month. Our traveling companions don't have it so we will have to wait on them but on a nice bench!

Posted by
9363 posts

I travel outside the country on an average of once a year. Yes, sometimes the immigration line is long, but sometimes it isn't. I just haven't had enough of a problem to want to pay extra to avoid it. Then again, I am more of a budget traveler. As I understand it, the Global Entry program is mostly for re-entry to the US. It says you also have "have access to expedited entry benefits in other countries" but it doesn't specify what or where those are.

Posted by
13765 posts

I have it. The good side is I go through immigration in under 5 minutes. When traveling with carry-on that's convenient especially with tight connections. The bad side is if you check luggage more often than not the non-Global Entry folks will be at the carrousel before your bags show up. Then again another good side is that you get to take a short cut past everyone else at the customs officials which can make up for waiting for the luggage. All combined, its been worth it for us, but not perfect. Mine is up for renewal in about a year, and I will renew it.

Posted by
1588 posts

Mexico and Canada are the two I am aware of. You get a card to use at these border crossings. Global entry will benefit us as we usually end up at LAX very late, tired and then have to fly up the coast of CA or drive it. For us, it will save us time to catch the flight or the Airbus. I can't count how many times we have missed the bus or the flight due to immigration lines. We have had enough and gladly paid the fee.

Posted by
13765 posts

Kaeleku is correct. Not worth the money at all. Don't do it. Besides you have to give up all sorts of personal information that the government will use against you after "the change". Play it safe. Go under the radar. This is the same sort of trick the soviets pulled with the eastern Europeans right after WWII

(Kaeleku, do you think that will keep the lines at the kiosks short?)

Posted by
2526 posts

In my opinion, it's worth it and can sometimes save significant time at the immigration line and after flying for too many hours, I highly value such. Pre-check is also worthwhile and makes the check-in security screening in the U.S. a bit easier/faster.

Posted by
2048 posts

If I was traveling once a year then no. If you travel a lot either domesitically and/or internationally then yes. For me the addition of precheck makes it a no brainer to renew when it comes up.

Posted by
21879 posts

Do it. In relation to travel it is the best $20/year you will ever spend. The big bonus is TSA pre-check in the US. It is somewhat of a pain to obtain - scheduling the TSA interview and the application. But the application can be completed on-line.

Posted by
2057 posts

Agree with all who encourage you to get it. It's definitely worth the money and savings in time and hassle of returning to the US. Do remember, though, the pre-check benefit only works for domestic flights. For our flights non-stop from Denver to either Frankfurt, London and (coming back soon I hear) Munich, we still have to do the shoes, belts and jackets off, 3-1-1 bag out, etc. thing. The interview only took about 5 minutes.

Posted by
2790 posts

Well worth it. The biggest hassle is going to an airport for the physical interview (where they will take a bad webcam picture of you and stick it onto your card!).

Also, certain levels of credit cards (I'm thinking Amex) will reimburse you for GE. It was a lifesaver when landing at O'Hare from CDG. As noted, it's not always clear but after you get your bags look for a shortened exit line just for you from baggage claim, and if need be push towards the head of the unwashed masses line. They chided us at O'Hare for not doing this, but I didn't want to risk my life.

Posted by
3493 posts

I have found Global entry to be well worth the $100 I didn't have to spend to get it (at the time, my airline of choice was paying the fee for higher level frequent flyers, sadly they no longer do so).

When you get approved for Global Entry you also get Nexus and Pre Check. If you fly a lot within the US, having Pre Check is great and saves a lot of time. Security lines were running about 1 hour this Christmas weekend and the Pre Check lane 5 minutes at the airports I went through. I have not needed Nexus yet (this is what gets you expedited border crossings to Canada). Last time I came back into the US the Global Entry people were practically sprinting through the immigration line.

The thing to remember is that you are not guaranteed approval for Global Entry. For one, you have to convince the reviewer at the time of your face-to-face interview that you travel enough each year. It was easy for me since I work for a global corporation. They can refuse you for having unpaid parking tickets if they want. Also, it is important to remember this is per person. Benefits do not automatically carry over to spouses.

Posted by
544 posts

Global entry is worth it alone for TSA precheck. It's so luxurious to leave your shoes on when you go through the TSA PreCheck security lanes! The line is also usually very short and fast. Unfortunately, I often fly British Airways, which is not a TSA PreCheck airline. As long as you book on a US-based airline or Air Canada, you get to use the TSA PreCheck lanes at security. Apparently they sometimes don't let you use PreCheck, but that hasn't happened to me. I've used PreCheck flying internationally with Delta and American and when flying within the USA with Alaska Airlines.

I'm lucky to live near the Canadian border, so I sign up for "Nexus" which includes TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for $50 for 5 years instead of the $100 for 5 years for Global Entry.

Posted by
21879 posts

Well, Nancy???? Are you convinced?

Posted by
95 posts

To Nordheim,

where do you go to apply for Nexxus in the Northwest? Do you go to Vancouver, British Columbia? Is there an interview for Nexxus, just as for Global Entry in the USA?

Posted by
95 posts

Furthermore, for Nexus application, is it 50 Canadian dollars or US$50?

Posted by
3493 posts

Nexus $50 is USD or CAD depending on how you apply. If you do it online, it is USD. If you mail in an application form, it is CAD.

If you are a US citizen your interview process will be at a US airport same as for Global Entry (might not be available at all Global Entry centers).

Check online for details relevant to your situation. http://www.cbp.gov

Posted by
1068 posts

I think, could be wrong, the with Nexus it is only US/Canadian entry. This is from the US Customs Website: The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports. NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

Posted by
2790 posts

Neither my wife nor I had to "justify" our request for Global Entry during the interview (at LAX). We just had to apply, pay and be interviewed. Wa la. I don't think there is any need requirement, just want.

Posted by
3493 posts

The majority of my Global Entry interview was the interviewer asking me how many times I planned to travel out of the US each year, what parts of the world I would be going to, and if it was business or leisure travel. So, to me, it seemed like justifying to the interviewer my need and want was a necessary part of the process.

Posted by
13765 posts

Basically I was asked if all the information on the form was correct. Took 5 minutes.

Posted by
1955 posts

Mark,
Odd the interviewer asked you questions re: your future travel plans. But, maybe it was his/her way of making conversation with you.

The interviewer didn't really ask me many questions at all, just basically verified my photo ID/passport (and I 'think' I recall the guy flipping quickly thru my passport pages) and took the fingerprints and photos. And, of course, at the right time, I asked both agents the question I like to ask many who work with the public: What's the funniest thing that has ever happened (in an interview)?

I just asked my husband (his interview was on a different date), and he said they only asked him where he HAD traveled in the past.

For both my interview and for my husband's interview, we would describe the interview as friendly and chatty, not intimidating at all, but why would it be?

It is our understanding that once the detailed background checks are performed (which is done before you are invited to schedule the in-person interview), the in-person interview is to basically verify that you are who you say you are (so they fingerprint and photo the correct person).

But, for those who have not gone thru the process, when you fill our your initial application on-line, you will be asked to list the countries to which you have traveled in the last five years. So, as with anything, it may be assumed that past behavior is often the best indicator of future behavior....if one has traveled a lot, it is likely they will continue to travel a lot.

If I didn't anticiptae any future international trips, I would have saved some $s and just opted for TSA-precheck, which is a little less expensive, and one can get cleared for that much more quickly than the Global Entry (interviews can generally be scheduled more quickly).

Posted by
2048 posts

My "interview" was done near the beginning of the program (I guess it expires soon will have to check)

The "interview" consisted of giving me a sheet which was apparently the questions they were suppose to ask and i had to write a response. The TSA agent looked to see I filled out the sheet and i was done LOL!

Posted by
2790 posts

The paperwork you have to do online beforehand is so comprehensive, there's hardly anything left to ask about you. They now more about you than you do!

Posted by
4747 posts

The interviewer asked me about my foreign bank accounts (I had two accounts with small balances remaining from when I lived overseas that I kept open for the convenience of the chip and pin debit card) and some of the countries that I had traveled to.

I've had it since 2012 and it has definitely been worth it for me. It never takes more than a couple of minutes to get through immigration at the kiosk, although I then have to wait at the luggage carousel. Even so, I'm usually one of a handful of people waiting by the carousel when the luggage shows up. Most everyone else is still in line. At Dulles, they also have a separate line for customs if you have Global Entry so you save waiting in that line to. If you fly domestically, there is also the opportunity for TSA Precheck.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks to all who replied. We decided in favor of TSA Precheck. Have already used it and it's wonderful. Especially looking forward to using it at LAX, the worst place on the planet.