Please sign in to post.

Mobile Passport App

I just returned from my fifth trip to Spain, and had my first opportunity to try the Mobile Passport app at O'Hare in Chicago. The process could not have been simpler! Before leaving home, I entered my passport information and picture, as well as information about my trip. As my plane was landing in Chicago, I answered the customs questions, and hit "Submit" as soon as we could use phones on the ground. I had my receipt before I was off the plane. Then it was a quick trip through the special lanes reserved for Mobile Passport (there was one person in front of me), where I showed the receipt and scanned my QR code. And that was it! I made it through even before the Global Entry people - and the app is free! I would highly recommend using the app at any airport that allows Mobile Passport.

Posted by DJ
TX
685 posts

I had a similar experience returning recently. The app saved me at least an hour wait at Dulles as I was able to skip the line for the machines and go strait to the line for the immigration agents.

DJ

Posted by Laura B
San Francisco
3861 posts

Me too -- zipped through SFO in about five minutes this week.

Posted by aquamarinesteph
362 posts

I want to try this out on my next trip. Question - do you need to load trip details before you leave for each trip? Or do you do it once you arrive? Thanks!!

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

All they really want to know is where you are arriving into, and on what airline. You could do it on the plane. Just before you arrive home, you can answer the customs questions but you can't submit them until you have internet access on the ground.

Posted by Shelley
Central Valley, California
277 posts

Put the app on your phone before you leave for Europe. FIll it out - take the selfie - should be OK.

Posted by Ed
Houston, Texas
256 posts

A couple of thoughts on the App which looks interesting. It is not a substitute for GEOS. Right now it is in place in 23 airports, the two I noticed that were not currently on the are LAX and FLL. Also, with GEOS you get TSAPre which has been great for our domestic travels. That being said if you do not have GOES I would definitely make use of this App.

Ed

Posted by Bets
Deep in the heart of Indiana
5541 posts

We used the app at BWI in February and were the first through. It's a good solution for those of us who leave from smaller airports. Here's why:

Our closest interview office for Global Access is a 5 hour trip and too hard to schedule an interview at our transfer airports during trips. So having a usual departure airport and using the same airlines repeatedly solves the pre-check problem. Mobile app solves the return.

Posted by Diane
New York, NY, USA
423 posts

I have the only smart phone - can i put my dad and i both on ? what about Visa info?

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

Yes, you only need one per travel party. Put all of your travelers on your phone (passport numbers and photos). Then when you do the info for the current trip, you select each person for that trip. You go through as one unit. Not sure what you mean about visa info. The app is only for entry into the US, not for traveling outward, so you still have to have your passport. Like Bets, I usually leave from a small regional airport, so I always have TSA pre-check. In fact, I had it out of ORD this time, too (left directly from there instead).

Posted by Katie
NY
118 posts

I just looked this up on my Samsung play store. Very great info! Thank you. I figured I'd list the airports & also wanted to confirm it's called mobile passport (CBP auth.)?

Mobile passport is currently available at:
ATL BWI BOS ORD DFW DEN FLL IAH MIA MSP
EWR JFK MCO PHX RDU SMF SAN SFO SJC SEA
TPA IAD HOU

Thought that mind help someone.

Posted by Katie
NY
118 posts

Thank you!! I never heard of it & if you'd ever experienced JFK, you'd know what a lifesaver you just became!

Posted by celeste
ATL, GA, USA
705 posts

Katie - we used it re-entering through JFK from France last summer and it worked exactly like Nancy described. We beat the Global Entry people through!

Posted by Travelmom
TX, USA
237 posts

Thanks, Nancy! I have the app downloaded but haven't yet had the opportunity to use it. All the info on how it works is very helpful!

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

I wasn't sure about it myself, since you can't see the whole process until you actually use it. What will it look like? Will there be a marked line for Mobile Passport people? What do I do? When you get your receipt, it shows your picture, passport info, and a barcode. There is a little arrow that takes you to a QR code. I had the QR code up when I got to the desk, and he asked me to back up a page so he could see the picture, then had me go back to the QR and scan it. I kind of laughed and said I didn't know what I was supposed to do, and he said, "Eh, there is always a learning curve to these things." And that was that.

Posted by dpalmier53
82 posts

Thank you so much Nancy. I had downloaded the app but I have not set it up yet. We are going to Europe in late August and our first US airport will be Houston. So glad they have it there and that this forum has answered so many questions about the use.

Posted by Christine
ME, US
279 posts

Sounds very useful. We had horrendous experiences at Newark and Philadelphia during recent returns from Italy, so we'll give this a try next time (if we come back through Newark, anyway). Does it matter which airline you use or just which airport? Thanks

Posted by beachcombernan
20 posts

Nancy
Thank you so very much for sharing this info. We used the app upon your recommendation on our return from Rome. We were exhausted and happily breezed right through. The other lines were endless.

Posted by Kim
Paris
3588 posts

Nancy and others who have commented/confirmed with their experiences of using this app - thank you so much for mentioning this!!! As one can imagine, not living in the States, I don't have an opportunity to sign up for Global Entry -- but I am flying into Boston next week, and if this can help me out, it will be a real lifesaver. after landing, I am catching a Concord Coach lines bus up to Portland Maine to go visit my boss who retired last November and is now fighting a horrible raging cancer. Anything i can do to get me out of the airport quicker and onto the earliest bus possible will help with an already very long day (Paris-BOS, two-hour bus to Portland, taxi to Portland airport to pick up rental car, and 3-hour drive to final destination).

Thanks Katie too for listing the cities before I even got to the website to check and see if BOS is listed!

Thank you so much!!

Posted by Kathleen
Reston, VA, USA
702 posts

My daughter and I tried using mobile passport this week on our return to Dulles airport, but we failed. We had answered yes to one of the questions - we hiked through some farms while on our trip. Could that have caused our inability to use the app?

Have any of you who successfully used the app answered yes to any of the questions?

As it turned out, we had no problem. Because she answered yes, she was sent to a special line which was extremely short – way shorter than the regular line for immigration. And I have Global Entry so I breezed through pretty quickly too.

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

Kathleen, yes, that's possible, since they probably had to question you further about that, right?

Kim, are you a US citizen or green card holder? If not, I don't think you can use it.

Posted by kathy
St. Louis MO
673 posts

Thanks for this reminder. We had a layover in Dublin last trip and thus went through immigration there. I have scanned our passports and took our pictures for our upcoming trip. That information will be saved using my PIN so now all I'll have to do if finish up once we are at our point of entry into the U.S. I am so excited to use this app!

Posted by Kim
Paris
3588 posts

Unfortunately Mobile Passport didn't seem to save much time for my arrival into Boston a week ago Friday. There was one small line I got to bypass, but then I waited with everyone else.

Still, it was worth a try and did probably save 5 minutes or so. Not much in comparison to the 20-25 that we were in the passport line for. But I'll keep it and try it again if I'm arriving into an airport that has it (IF I'm not traveling with my husband -- there's no point in getting through the line quickly if he's still waiting . . . )

Just my experience!

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

Hmm, I'm confused. You shouldn't have been in a passport line - customs, maybe? And I didn't understand your comment about your husband still waiting. You can put your whole travel party on one phone and go through together. Oh well, better luck next time!

Posted by tgreen
midwest- Michigan
469 posts

Nancy, we just used mobile passport MP a day ago in chicago and worked beautifully. We had to wait for our luggage since we were out of immigration so fast, but then we had special cards to go through customs, so we bypassed the long line to the guy that had no one waiting and was MP only. This app works well in certain airports, but you may need to ask where to go and what line to get into.

Posted by Lynn
Davenport, IA, USA
71 posts

This has worked well upon re-entering the U.S. Especially swift at ORD. put my arrival info in on phone before I land hit send when we hit the ground. QR code almost instantaneous. Only snag is there usually is not a marked Mobile Passport lane. Got in the habit of flashing my QR code screen as I approach the passport lanes and they quickly direct you to the appropriate lane. Generally while others are zig zagging through the passport lanes, your are directed to a straight lane with no one in line ahead of you. Have your QR code up and expanded, scan it. They will quickly move you on and give you a card to give to customs. Have your QR code up again at customs and you are out in no time.

Hardest part is taking a good photo/selfie that gets stored in the App on the phone.

Posted by aquamarinesteph
362 posts

Blockquote Got in the habit of flashing my QR code screen as I approach the passport lanes and they quickly direct you to the appropriate lane.

Thanks for that suggestion! We plan to try this out on our next trip.

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

As I said previously, I started out with the QR code up, but the guy had me back up to the previous page (with the photo) first, glanced at it, then had me bring up the QR code.

Posted by Bets
Deep in the heart of Indiana
5541 posts

Re Kim's experience--everyone in your group has to have a US passport, (not sure about Green Card) to be in the app.

Posted by Kim
Paris
3588 posts

sorry - I wasn't very clear. My husband wasn't on this trip with me. (I meant that for me it was worth trying Mobile Passport, because he wasn't on the trip -- if he IS on the trip, I have to wait for him anyway, since he can't enroll for anything since he doesn't have a U.S. passport).

I definitely did get stuck in a passport line after going the Mobile Passport route, no two ways about it! I know the difference between passport and customs, thanks.

Posted by kknipfel
14 posts

This sounds like something we'd like to try doming back through SEA. Does it work if your phone just has WiFi? (Assumiing that Seattle, of all places, would have good WiFi at the airport!) My US phone plan doesn't have data. Also, if both my husband and I are together (different last names), does one QR code come up for the 2 of us?

Posted by Nancy OP
Bloomington, IL, USA
9350 posts

Yes,, it works on wifi (I keep my phone on airplanemode, so data is off). As long as your husband also his a US passport, you can both be on one phone. You just fill out the passport info for each of you. When you go to use it, you select the people who are traveling with you - the whole party can go together. I have only traveled alone, so I don't know if it generates more than one QR code, though.

Posted by Laura B
San Francisco
3861 posts

Two people, two photos, two QR codes. You just put the info and photos in ahead of time, then select the people travelling on this trip, answer a few customs questions, and click "submit" once you arrive in the U.S. -- application generates QR codes for each person selected.
Just remember to keep the phone charged !! (Or carry a backup charger.)

Posted by Lynn
Davenport, IA, USA
71 posts

Just used this again at ORD. They now have signs for Mobile Passport Users. No waiting. They had 2 lanes open. Even got my 85 year old mom to use it.

Posted by Carolyn
Boston
152 posts

I used it for the first time returning to Boston from Madrid. Worked great