Okay, for what it's worth, I have finally completed the Global Entry process. Fifteen months after I applied, I finally was able to go to my scheduled (though oft delayed) interview appointment today. Yay!! This just makes me more hopeful for traveling as soon as we can get out there again. It seems like a small victory, but one I am so happy to have. I am celebrating with a glass of wine!
Congrats! I was excited to get my Global Entry back in February, can’t wait to put it to use!
You will love the Global Entry on your next return to the US, It makes a huge difference when you can breeze through the immigration lines in a couple of minutes.
Applied last Friday and received reply from them in two days and have my interview
at O'Hare on Wed...hoping to go to Ortisei & Lauterbrunnen in late June but all
I will add my Congratulations. I love Global Entry. I've used it about 25 times since 2015 for re-entry. Twenty-four times it was incredibly smooth and quick. The one exception was a miserable day at JFK when TSA apparently changed the workflow for agents, requiring two TSA workers at the exit to examine traveler's documents closely and to ask them questions (instead of just waving them through), creating a long queue for the machines and an even longer queue to exit -- it took over an hour to get through. That workflow has since been abandoned.
And forgot to mention the application fee was paid for by my new United Airlines credit card-
had the $100 credited back to my account in 2 days.
You will love having GE!
I have my interview on Monday. Can’t wait to get traveling again! Congrats!
Michael, I'm jealous-that's nice and quick. I, also, got it for free with my United credit card. Alls well that ends well.
We have been heming and hawing about this. If we fly internationally every other year approximately, is it worth it?
Whether it's worth it is, of course, a personal decision.
However, the first time you arrive at a big airport and breeze through immigration in one minute, all the while looking at the long line of people who don't have GE who are waiting who knows how long to get through, worrying about making their connections...yeah, you might feel it's worth it! :-)
I agree with Eric, it does depend on which airports you tend to frequent. Because of where we live (Kansas) , we re-enter the USA through either Atlanta or Minneapolis 90% of the time. Minneapolis is usually fairly easy to get through immigration but you can end up with a long journey to the next gate. Atlanta was the main problem though, several times we landed with a 2 hour window and still missed our next flight due to being stuck in immigration then having to go back through security and not reaching the gate in time.
Since we got our GE we have never missed a flight home!
Four out of the last five times we've flown into the US, we had problems. For some reason, my husband always gets pulled out of the automated passport line for further investigation; last time we both were. Although this hasn't yet caused us to miss a connecting flight, it's annoying and frustrating, especially when we're exhausted from the flight home.
So I think I'll go ahead and apply this time. The only drawback seems to be going for the interview. There are no Global Entry Enrollment Centers in Oklahoma, Kansas, or Arkansas. The closest seem to be Dallas Fort Worth and Kansas City, either of which would mean a full-day round trip. But it sounds like it would be worth it.
The only time you might get really disappointed is if you or one traveling with you gets the dreaded SSSSSS (I cannot recall how many S's) on your boarding pass (which is total random selection) for any leg of your journey. Then, that person has to go thru the deep security screening....once that meant going to the end of a really long line....stressful if delays have caused a tight connection already. When that happens, best to give your traveling partner your cash, electronics and the such to take thru with them, so you have fewer items to have to deal with (or get separated from) in the deep screening.
But, overall, you will absolutely LOVE Global Entry, especially when you are totally exhausted upon re-entry..
Thanks everyone for letting me piggy back off of this post. We mainly fly out of Chicago O'Hare, even my MIL who lives in MN about 45 minutes from the ND border because she comes to our house first before flying out with us. I'll have to see where she would go to get hers.
Maggie, we get held up at passport control in our arrival city - usually DFW. You know how you scan your passport while the machine compares your face to your photo? Stan flunks that almost every time. A few years ago he said the next time he has to renew his passport, he's going to stay up all night the night before having his passport photo taken, in hopes that that will help.
I think it's because he's so white he washes out. He has very fair skin, light eyes, and white hair and mustache. An attendant last time said it's because our name (his especially) is so common. My last name is the same, but my first name doesn't sound made up to match the last name. We both go by our middle names in real life, and the name on his passport is much more common.
We applied in summer 2019, got tentative approval almost immediately but no interviews available at SFO before our winter trip so we did interviews on arrival in January 2020 -- took only a few minutes and the whole process was much faster than going through the regular lanes. Hoping to be able to use the cards before they expire!
How long before they expire?
Global Entry membership lasts five years before it must be renewed, and it always expires on your birthday that fifth year (from The Points Guy)
Laura B, I'm wondering if your experience is typical. It would be easier if we had tentative approval in advance, then did our interviews the day of our flight out. I'd hate to count on it, though.
OK, I just applied! I told my husband it's his turn. I told him he needed his passport, his drivers license and lots of patience. The passport and DL are no problem. :-)
Edit to add: Whoop! He got to the DL screen, and we saw his license expired at the end of November.
Jane -- oops! But better than finding that out at a traffic stop!
To clarify, we went through GE interviews on arrival at SFO on our way back into the U.S., not on our way out.
Laura B, you are right.
So it was about 4:30; the tag agency where we renew DLs closes at 5:00, and we needed to leave here about 5:20 to fulfill an obligation in Tulsa. Stan decides, it's possible, so he dashes out the door. When he got to the tag agency (just a few blocks away) he found they were only renewing DLs by appointment, which, of course, he didn't have.
So while the clerk was explaining this, and trying to set up an appointment, the tag agent looks up and sees Stan. Now, here's the great part about living in a small town. 1: Stan and I used to teach at the same school where tag agent's wife was a counselor. 2: Tag agent takes his car to my brother's auto repair shop. 3: Tag agent and his wife used to live next door to my parents.
Result? Stan gets waved in by the tag agent, who arranges for him to get a temporary driver's license on the spot. Stan rushes home, waving the paper in his hand. At that point I took over the application process, and we were done in minutes. Success! We even made it to our Tulsa appointment on time. Barely.