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Global Entry

Hey everyone:

Not too sure where to put this so I hope this is the right place.

I just recently (like on Wednesday) got approved for the TSA Global Entry for my trip to London in a few months. I'm wondering if anyone else has this and if so did you find it helpful for when you came back?

I'm mostly just curious about whether or not you get through security faster on your way out of the country like with TSA PreCheck (i.e. don't have to take off shoes, electronics, liquids etc.)

Thanks in advance,
MH

Posted by
1381 posts

PreCheck is included with Global Entry, so yes, easier leaving AND returning.
I believe some airlines don't participate in PreCheck--that might be your only issue.

Posted by
9929 posts

Yes, it also depends on your airport as to whether they participate in TSA Precheck. I fly out of a small N. Idaho airport and it semi-participates. I can leave my shoes on but have to take my liquids out and it's thru the same line. I go thru the metal scanner instead of the nude-o-scope. If you are leaving out of SEA they will have a dedicated TSA pre-check lane.

Coming in, it saves a lot of time. The first time or two I had difficulty getting my fingerprints to scan so had to ask for help from the Border Patrol person who was monitoring the area. One of them suggested I put my other hand on top of the scanned hand to help with reading and that works well.

Again, coming back in thru security, the SLC security area after Immigration does not have a Pre-check lane but other airports do.

Keep the little card with you so you can review procedures before you get to the lane. Some people on here have reported a security person wanted to see the GE card before letting them into the GE line but that has never happened to me.

Have you had your interview yet?

Posted by
4745 posts

For PreCheck, it depends on the airline you are flying and whether it participates or not. The list of airlines that participate is here. You need to make sure to add your global entry # to your frequent flyer profile for the airline.

https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/participating-airlines

I’ve had global entry for about 6 years and it does speed things up; however, the last couple times I have flown into Dulles there has been a short wait in line after using the kiosk.

Posted by
126 posts

Congrats on being approved!

For TSA Pre-Check it depends on your airline and airport. I know some airports don't have the Pre-Check line. Anyway, I would recommend you to not abuse the "privilege": I know the TSA Agents don't ask you to remove your liquids bag from your luggage/backpack, but still have it ready and don't try to sneak another liquid "hidden" outside the 3-1-1 bag, or bringing scissors longer than the permitted length, forbidden items, or trying to use the Pre-Check line with a person that is not in the program, etc. They can suspend you from using the program for life (I was told) and it's not worth the risk.
The big perks of being Pre-Check are shorter security lines, you pass security faster, don't have to take your belt or shoes off. When the time comes and you use the line for the first time, just tell the agent and he/she will tell you what to do. I know I was kind of clueless the first time I use it but the agent told me what to do.

For Global Entry, there's an employee or agent telling you also what to do in case the machine doesn't want to read your passport, or how to position yourself for the picture, etc. Just take in consideration that they can ask you to go through secondary revision, with a real CBP agent in an office. I think it's kind of random...? Anyway, but when you use Global you go through customs fast and if you didn't check your luggage you do breeze through the process. Again, just be honest and declare everything, do your homework and check what you can bring back home, Don't risk it.

In case of doubt just ask and I'm sure the agents will tell you want to do.

Posted by
6483 posts

Works like a dream at the always horrendous LAX, departing and returning. Especially appreciate it when returning from an overseas flight.

Posted by
2445 posts

I was about to make my usual snarky comment about British Airways not participating in TSA Pre-Check, but they joined up in May.

Posted by
2547 posts

My husband is filling out the paperwork on his computer right now. I will do my application next.

Posted by
6809 posts

Not to be picky, but Global Entry is a CBP program, not TSA. The Known Traveler Number you get with GE entitles you to the TSA Pre-Check status. But you must include the number when you make your airline reservation or check-in, and it needs to appear on your boarding pass. I mention this because I know some people just assumed it was automatic when they got GE. GE helps only with customs and immigration (not security) on re-entry to the US, and yes it speeds that up.

Posted by
3493 posts

First thing you must do is add your Know Traveller ID number you received on completion of your Global Entry process into your frequent flyer account at every airline you fly. Why? This is the only way to guarantee you get Pre Check on your flights. Otherwise, the airline can't add the PRE indicator on your boarding pass. No indicator, no PRE and you are not getting what you paid for. Don't have frequent flyer accounts? Join! There are some non US airlines who are still not participants in the program so if you fly them you will never get the PRE access on those flights. But more are joining all the time. You will receive a card with your picture on it in the mail (also has your Know Traveller ID number). But don't bother bringing that to the airport to try to get into the Pre lane. Won't work. It is for Canadian border crossing only. I have used that card as ID at the airport when my driver license was being renewed and it worked fine - but not for access to the Pre lane.

Global Entry doesn't work like that. It is tied to your passport, not your airline ticket. So any airline you fly you can use the GE lines. The only bad thing is if you are connecting to another flight after arriving back from out of the country, most airports don't have a Pre lane in the connections security area. So you fly through immigration and customs in 5 minutes or less only to be stuck with the other thousands of people going through the slow regular line for security. Frustrating after you get used to the quick Pre line (which I feel should be the standard line for all passengers anyway, but that is for another discussion).

Oh, if you are a GE member and fly through UK airports more than 4 times in a year, you will also receive an invitation to join their equivalent of GE which allows you to go through the fast lane in their airports when arriving from the US. It is excessively expensive so I have not joined.

Posted by
5770 posts

Lots of good info above. Other things to remember: Everything varies.

GE gives you Precheck. But Precheck does not always get you the Precheck line - TSA likes to "randomize" everything, so occasionally those with Precheck are denied its use, and you still have to go through the regular line (I've had this happen to me a couple times, even though Precheck is available at that airport and that airline and I had used it many, many times). No rhyme or reason, that's how they roll.

Exactly what you do and don't have to do may vary from place to place and day to day (shoes off or on, iPads out or in, Nudi-scope in color or black-and-white, exactly what constitutes a puffy jacket, etc.). They like randomness, so be ready for surprises.

With Precheck's wide (and growing) popularity, it may not actually save you any time. I've seen non-Precheck lines that were shorter than the Precheck line. Doesn't happen often, but worth paying attention to if you're tight on time - you don't HAVE to use the Precheck line if the "regular" line is shorter.

If you're flying Business class (or First class, lucky you), you may have an even shorter "Premium" line available as an option. It's nice to have choices (sir, would you prefer the Dom P or the Krug as your pre-departure beverage?)

Precheck ain't what it used to be. There are so many people using it now, the lines are often quite long. Of course, you can pay more to upgrade to "CLEAR" which is even more expensive and typically offers the shortest, quickest lines (at least for now). See a pattern here? I expect in another year or two, there will be a "Platinum Precheck" option that, for a small additional fee, gets you whisked through security in a private limo while getting a deep-tissue massage and a pedi. We'll see.

Overall, it's better to have GE and Precheck than not have it. Enjoy the benefits when you can.

That reminds me, I need to renew mine and find my GE card...

Posted by
2916 posts

I fly out of a small N. Idaho airport and it semi-participates. I can leave my shoes on but have to take my liquids out and it's thru the same line.

And there's probably an airport in southern Idaho where you have to take your shoes off but can leave liquids in. And what about belts?

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks everyone!

I already know the basics of PreCheck, my family and I got it at random on a trip home from New Orleans a few years ago. I gave the ID number to the person at school who handles all of the reservation stuff.

When we went to SeaTac on Wednesday for the interview it was slow so they didn't have PreCheck lanes open. Not sure what to expect but I'm prepared for everything.

Thanks again!

Posted by
11462 posts

It's worth it. You sail through passport control. I fly back to the U.S next weekend and will do my renewal interview on arrival. No need for an appointment.

You also get Precheck. There is a bill winding its way through Congress that will only allow travelers in the Precheck program to use Precheck lanes. No undressing/unpacking with Precheck. It's only available with airlines that are part of the program

The UK program is called Registered Traveller. It costs £50 a year. I enter the UK a few times a year so it is worth every penny. (Pence?). I just got my renewal notice yesterday.

Posted by
6033 posts

I will be the contrarian on the general topic of Global Entry. I get it if you travel reasonably often, but for the casual traveler, it is just not worth the cost and effort, especially for the first time/only time traveler. TSA Pre-Check is marginally more useful, but has it's drawbacks.

Take my own experiences as an example, first pre-check. I did not pay a dime for it, but due to FF status, information provided by me employer, age, etc.; I get it anyway. It is nice to not have to take off shoes and leave things in my bag, and sometimes have a shorter line, but often the line is clogged with people with special requirements (wheelchairs, implants, etc.) where speed is no longer an advantage. Since I fly out of a small regional airport, it is a toss up whether I decide to go through Pre-Check or just opt to go regular. It does have much more value at larger airports, and of course no value in Europe. One could see as much benefit from dressing to go through security (no metal, easy off/on shoes, liquids and electronics in accessible pockets)

With Global Entry, I do not have it, but my experience lately has been that every entry airport I fly into has the kiosks for everyone and rarely have much of a wait, if any; certainly not enough that I would shell out $100 and go through the interview/application process, and I travel internationally 3-4 times a year. If you travel once a year, I don't get it, maybe status appeals, but saving a few minutes to sit at a gate doesn't tip the cost/benefit scale for me.

Posted by
9929 posts

M, thanks for adding a more specific location to your profile. It helps to know "where" especially when transportation questions come up. Big difference in airport access/procedures in Tacoma as opposed to , say, Pullman, lol!

Posted by
2445 posts

Before we paid for Global Entry with the lagniappe of TSA pre-check, we would occasionally get TSA pre-check for free. On one such time, I overheard a teenager in the regular line ask "what that line was for" and the adult woman with her answered that was "the line for stupid people with more money than brains".

I am a "choose your battles" kind of person and didn't even bother to roll my eyes - no time anyway, the stupid people with more money than brains line was moving too fast.

Posted by
1815 posts

The best part of Pre-check for me is not having to take stuff out of my bag, take off my coat/jacket/belt and take off my shoes... and then re-load on the other side. We have GE and used it coming through SEA for the first time last summer. It worked well. Other trips have returned through Chicago and Atlanta. We came back to SEA from Mexico the year before and either we missed the line or it wasn't open(?), but it took a lot longer.

I've had trouble with the machine reading my fingerprints in the past, but somewhere I heard/read that if you stay hydrated fingerprints read more easily. Not sure if this is accurate or based on any kind of science, but it did work for me.

Posted by
9929 posts

I've had trouble with the machine reading my fingerprints in the past, but somewhere I heard/read that if you stay hydrated fingerprints read more easily. Not sure if this is accurate or based on any kind of science, but it did work for me.

Patty, when I went for my GE interview the CBP agent was having computer issues so as we were waiting he was very chatty. He said this very thing, including that he didn’t want to insult me but that it’s harder to read prints on older people because they are often less hydrated. He also said he had had 2 people that week who’s prints wouldn’t pick up at all and he had to do something different for them. He said to be sure to hydrate on the flight to increase my chances of having an easier time at the kiosk.

Posted by
215 posts

I received the same advice from the agent who did my interview. My fingerprints didn’t “register” as much as they should have...he actually said it can happen from the hand soap in the airport restrooms! Sooo...I have a “fingerprint bypass”, usually used for children five and under. But he did say that many people coming from hours-long flights are often dehydrated and have fingerprint issues.

Posted by
58 posts

For us it money well spent. We travel to Europe each year and it is really nice that upon returning home we can just go to the kiosk and avoid the long lines. We had a small problem with the finger print machine but it eventually worked. Saved us at least 20-30 minutes.

As for the TSA Pre-check. The lines are typically smaller and move much faster since you do not have to remove shoes, hats etc. Unfortunately it only applies to domestic airlines. We've seen pre-check on our outbound foreign tickets but it seems meaningless since we've never seen a separate line for TSA pre-check at any foreign airports.

There's a newer service called "Clear" that is supposed to be even faster that I will check out when our 5 year Global Entry pass expires.

Posted by
3493 posts

Clear is like Pre Check -- it only applies at US airports and currently is only at a very very small handful of airports. It has no impact on your international returns into the US. It is in addition to Pre Check if you have both and you get to skip past the people in the Pre line. Without Pre, you end up shuffled into the standard security lines (you do get to bypass most of the people in the security line and go straight to the scanners).

Pre Check is only at airports inside the US. It is offered by the TSA which only operates within the US. Why would any airport where TSA has no presence or authority to operate have Pre Check? There are many foreign airlines that now participate in Pre Check -- but that is only for flights departing a US airport and also has no impact on your onward connections or your initial return flight into the US. Pre Check for connections once you are back in the US is possible and has appeared on my boarding passes on several flights, but once again does nothing for you on any flight originating outside the US.

Posted by
691 posts

Great feedback on this post for Global Entry, just one more thing to add. It is limited to just the person who has Global Entry, you cannot take your family with you. I use it extensively for business, but when I travel with my husband, we use the mobile app (where we can) and I wait in line with him.

Posted by
3355 posts

I'm mostly just curious about whether or not you get through security
faster on your way out of the country like with TSA PreCheck (i.e.
don't have to take off shoes, electronics, liquids etc.)

You WILL be on the TSA PreCheck line as it is part of Global Entry ONLY IF YOUR AIRLINE PARTICIPATES IN THE TSA PRECHECK.

These airlines participate in TSA Precheck when departing the US.

If your airline does not, you won't have access to TSA Precheck.

Posted by
15 posts

Another advantage to Global Entry is that you can use the Nexus lane when driving back into the US from Canada. Coming back from Vancouver, the regular line is usually long and has an expected wait of 30-45 minutes. The Nexus lane usually has no cars and I'm through in 2 minutes.

Note that this Global Entry does not get you access to the Nexus lanes when entering Canada, for that you need to apply for the Nexus program (which requires interviews with both US and Canadian border officials.)

Dan

Posted by
850 posts

We travel quite often and the GE is well worth the money but there are several credit cards that will reimburse you for the charge. Makes it an easy choice if you have any of those participating credit cards.

Posted by
14 posts

I travel for work occasionally, wearing my steel-toed boots. Pre Check or not, the boots always get run thru xray, I gave up and just pull them off even if I'm in Pre Check.

I'd love to travel often enough to consider GE...

Posted by
9 posts

I initially applied for and received my TSA approval and Global Entry card. When doing one of the interviews I was told to next time only renew my Global Entry because it also acts as my TSA approval, too. When coming home from Ireland/Dublin last month we went through USA customs at the Dublin airport (a first for me) so we didn't have to go through customs at our 1st stop back in the USA. I still got randomly picked to have a full security check in Dublin (pat down, scan of purse and carry-on, questioned, etc.) BUT it did help me quickly get through the next step of the security process before going to our gate.

Posted by
1 posts

We’ve enjoyed the benefits of Global Entry for years but when we moved to the Pacific Northwest we found it didn’t help much with flying into/out of British Columbia. If you live near the Canadian border or travel to the country often it makes sense to get Nexus rather than Global Entry. Nexus INCLUDES Global Entry (in fact when we switched from GE to Nexus our Known Traveler number did not change). There are not many enrollment centers but we live a few hours from one so we switched from GE to Nexus, the interview process was quick and easy. AND the best thing about it is that for some reason Nexus is half the price of GE (for the exact same perks PLUS the shorter lines entering Canada).

Posted by
1 posts

We used Global Entry two years ago from Portland, OR to Paris and back. As others have said, it’s not a universal system, with some airlines and airports not participating, but for us, it was fabulous. Coming back home, we probably saved a hour or more in customs. For a $15 adder to your PSA pre-check fee, it’s well worth it.

Posted by
7 posts

Houstonian here, The first time we bypassed the customs line (4 simultaneous arrivals) with the Customs Agent shouting "Come on GOES Passengers! Let's GO!" It was "so" worth the $100. It's good for 5 years! We have used the Precheck and Global entry many times.

Posted by
9 posts

Flew back from Mexico in April into LAX. Had a connecting flight from there to SFO. The GE line for customs had no line while the other line was massive. We never would have made the connecting flight without GE.

We've also used it returning from Europe. Super fast and worth it.

Posted by
11462 posts

Last week, I renewed my Global Entry using their "Interview Upon Arrival." After going through the GE machines at JFK, I told the person checking I had to do my interview, he pointed me to the office and I was done in a few minutes. (I was asked about where I had gone since getting GE and they knew of everywhere. Even asked me about one place I had forgotten to mention. He had never heard of it and was interested. (It was Guernsey.)) New photo, new fingerprints. At the end he told me he was submitting for approval and I was done. No appointment necessary.

From the time I stepped off the plane, walked to immigration, went through GE, did my renewal interview and walked to the Airtrain......just under 30 minutes. The interview took up nearly half that.

My new card arrived yesterday.

Posted by
6 posts

At LAX it depends not only on which airline but also which terminal they use... Terminal 2 and Bradley for instance don't have a TSA Pre-check line whereas other terminals do.

Posted by
530 posts

I gave the ID number to the person at school who handles all of the reservation stuff.

Double check your frequent flyer profile with the airline you are flying to make sure it is entered.

Also, when it comes time to renew you can do it online and may not have to go in for an interview. My wife and I did it last year and had our new cards within a week. You can start the renewal process a year before your GE expires. Definitely do not let it expire or you get to start over from scratch.

I found Mobile passport to be faster than the other programs for re entry thru US customs. I've never had more than one person in front of me in line.
No it doesn't get me thru the security line any faster on the trip out but I've walked past everyone in the Pre Check line coming home.
Oh, and free.

I found Mobile passport to be faster than the other programs for re entry thru US customs. I've never had more than one person in front of me in line.
No it doesn't get me thru the security line any faster on the trip out but I've walked past everyone in the Pre Check line coming home.
Oh, and it's free.

Posted by
12 posts

Re: Machine can't read handprint.

When I had my GE interview it was suggested to use hand cream after a long flight to make it easier for my handprint to register. I use a dab of hand cream as the plane is landing and have not had a problem.

Posted by
31 posts

I just want to say I am not as wordy as some however, when we flew into JFK from Milan a piece of cake. We were through in no time. We had never used it before and weren't quite sure what to expect. Well worth the cost just based on our first experience. Happy travels!

Posted by
21867 posts

...I renewed my Global Entry using their "Interview Upon Arrival." After going through the GE machines at JFK....... There has to be a reason for that or an alternative method. We both renew this year on-line. Had to update our travel places over the past five years, confirm our current addresses, and submit the hundred dollar fee. But no new pictures, finger prints, or interview requirement. Within a couple of weeks of the renewal we received new border cards. Our credit cards even paid the fee.

Posted by
11462 posts

I guess some people are chosen for interview and some aren't. I was arriving anyway so the whole process took 10 minutes. New card and re-did fingerprints.

Posted by
35 posts

Just echoing what others have said. GE totally worth it for speeding thru customs when returning to the US, especially busy airports like LAX and Miami, even with just a few trips per year. Wouldn't be without it.

Posted by
1 posts

I just got my GE card and this will be my first time using. I wonder if I will still have to be wanded since I have 2 hip and 2 knee replacements, which I mentioned at my interview.

Posted by
3493 posts

Having GE or TSA Pre Check for that matter does not exempt you from any security check.

Posted by
6809 posts

The GE card is only useful at land border crossings. Your GE status is linked through your passport which you scan upon entry at an airport.