My Experience With Global Entry

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by tahsir21, Aug 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. tahsir21

    tahsir21 Z Representative

    Let’s start off by answering what Global Entry is:
    • It expedites the process of standing in line for immigration when you enter the United States.
    • It expedites the process of security screening at domestic airports with the inclusion of TSA Pre Check.
    • It gives you a “Redress Number” that supposedly gives you better treatment at the airport.
    How does Global Entry work?
    Basically, when you land from an international flight, you proceed directly to the kiosks labeled “Global Entry” and swipe your passport. After swiping it, you answer a few questions on the screen, run your fingerprints, and take a picture. After that, you’re all set to go to baggage claim and proceed onwards. This program should save you about 15-20 at most airports and 30-1 hour at others!​

    How to apply?
    You can apply for Global Entry on the Global Entry Site.

    When you’re there, you have to create a “GOES” account and use that info to help apply for Global Entry​

    While applying, you will be asked a series of questions that pretty much ask about your travels.​

    After you go through the form, you’ll be prompted to pay and you can either choose A Credit or Bank Account​

    How much is it?
    Global Entry costs $100 to apply for. The “trick” is to use a Platinum Card from American Express. If you sign up for the Platinum Card that has a $0 Annual Fee for the first year from Ameriprise, this will help you a lot! American Express offers to reimburse your application fee for Global Entry as long as you pay with the Card. Also, I confirmed with American Express that every “Authorized User” on your account will be reimbursed as well.​

    The Wait
    I was kind of impatient and just paid the $100 fee on August 19th. Stupidly, I applied for the Platinum Amex on August 21st. Anyways, the application is supposed to be reviewed and they should get back to you with 2 weeks, but they got back to me by August 21st. It took them two days to conditionally approve me. They conditionally approve you, but that doesn’t mean you’re totally approved. (hence the conditionally)​


    The Interview
    After approving you, an interview must be scheduled. Weirdly, there was only ONE day available for the next 2 months in Los Angeles and it happened to be August 22nd. For Los Angeles, the only interviewing location is at LAX in the Tom Bradley International terminal. I brought my passports and drivers license to the interview and was greeted by some friendly agents. Before taking the interview, they took my prints and picture. They then started to ask a barrage of questions. Be prepared to answer any questions about your business, where you work, where you live etc.. Don’t be alarmed if they ask you why you go to the same country all the time or why you went to a certain country. The best way to respond to these is with the truth. In my case, I was asked why I go to India and Bangladesh so much. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t want to be denied, but when he started laughing with me, I was fine. He then proceeded to approve me! After the interview, I noticed that the “Demo” machine wasn’t working and so he handed me a few cards explaining how to use the machine. I personally wont try this out till December unless I decide to go out of the country in the next few months. The machine is pretty straight forward and all it does is take pictures, scans your passport and prints, and asks you the questions you fill out on those dreadful blue customs forms. The CBP officer put a sticker on my passport explaining that if the machine was ever down, that I immediately CUT everyone in the line and go to a CBP officer. He was adamant about saying I had “Priority”.​


    Overall Thoughts
    I applied for Global Entry because I wanted to get through security and immigration faster. I’m glad I did because even if I dont fly a lot, it’s nice to just have it. It’s even more lucrative when you dont have to pay for it like my dad whom I just applied for. When I use it, i’ll write another blog post on that!​

    The “Priority” Sticker

    The Global Entry Manual
  2. ACMM
    • Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    My experience? It works and was free for a Canadian with Nexus :)

    (Posted from my milePoint enabled iPhone)
    chef4u, aptraveler and tahsir21 like this.
  3. tahsir21

    tahsir21 Z Representative

    Haha, you're lucky! well I mean, if people have platinum, it's free, but if you travel out of the country, it's worth it!
    aptraveler likes this.
  4. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    I recall the first time I arrived at DTW and headed to immigration. There were 2 queues: American Citizens to the left, all others to the right. So I went to the left, though I didn't see any Global Entry kiosks. Anyhow, when I got to the head of the line, the immigration officer said that Global Entry people should take the "non-US citizens" queue. I mentioned there were no signs at all saying this and she kinda mumbles, "yeah, I know". I found the whole thing really dumb.
    aptraveler likes this.
  5. CrankyScott
    • Original Member

    CrankyScott Silver Member

    I have been very happy with Global Entry and never had a problem. Aside from the quick Immigration you also get head of the line privileges at customs. Its well worth doing if you travel international more than a few times per year.
    IDGflygirl and aptraveler like this.
  6. aptraveler

    aptraveler Gold Member

    tahsir21, it seems as if you had read my mind in your quest to detail the process of acquiring Global Entry (GE), since I was still on the fence in getting the whole process done, and your experience has helped.

    I currently do not fly oversees as much as I used to. Although, getting expedite security screening at domestic airports with the inclusion into the TSA Pre Check world might be advantageous.

    On principle, I am not too thrilled to give so much info to CBP in the hopes that on my re-entry I could shave some minutes off the immigration line. However, having signed up to the SMD4 and knowing that there will be some hard core travelers there, I really don't want to be the guy on the regular immigration line waiting to be process while the rest of the group gets their immigration entry expedited thanks to the GE kiosks, assuming they are working on that day. :eek:

    So, sharing your experience helps to clarify that it may not be that cumbersome of a process after all, especially having IAH as the main airport in town to be able to secure a timely appointment for the processing. I understand that once approved GE is good for five years and that $100 fee comes down to a $20 annual expedited immigration processing due, which is a reasonable amount to pay for the convenience of not having to wait in long lines when one comes home from an overseas trip! :)

    Thanks tahsir21 for this good write up. ;)
    Sweet Willie and IDGflygirl like this.
  7. curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Silver Member

    I drive truck locally for a national company.
    I have had to undergo background check and fingerprints to obtain a "hazardous Material" endorsement for about 100 or so bucks.
    Soon after that I applied for a TWIC card, yup you guessed it for about 95 bucks ,background check and fingerprints!
    TWIC is a card issued by the govt stands for "transportation worker identification card" for anyone who doesn't know what it is.It gives the holder access to sensitive areas such as waterfront ports and military installations with little or no hang-up
    My question is... how similar is the TWIC to the"trusted traveler" or "global entry"?
    To me it seems to be redundant and nothing more than a money maker considering how the other two programs I've dealt with.
    Just curious,any ideas?
  8. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    If the various programs you are involved with aren't set up to share data, then they all need to collect and analyze it separately - even if they're collecting the same data for similar purposes.

    I've never seen any indication that either of your programs are at all connected to either global entry or trusted traveler. Nexus, sentri, fast,flux,ses are a few of the programs run by cbp or foreign governments that are affiliated with global entry and trusted traveller.
    IDGflygirl likes this.
  9. bonnerbl
    • Original Member

    bonnerbl Gold Member

    Global entry is terrific!
  10. Amante41

    Amante41 Member

    Global Entry... I owe my friend Alasdhair for encouraging me to sign up. It's also a United Premier Flyer benefit.
    Global Entry™ compensation benefit

    Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. MileagePlus compensates 2012 Global Services, Premier 1K and Premier Platinum members for the $100 Global Entry application fee, for new applications.
    How does this benefit work?

    Eligible members will receive a $100 credit toward the fee for new applications, in the form of a personalized, stored-value credit card code, which can be redeemed during the Global Entry application process.
    To verify your eligibility and receive your personalized code, please visit the start page.
    Expedited security screening
    Global Entry members may also be eligible for TSA pre-screening, an expedited security screening program currently being tested by the TSA. To participate, simply enter your Known Traveler or PASS ID number on the TSA Pre-screening Sign-up page.
  11. diver90
    • Original Member

    diver90 Gold Member

    I just signed up for this a few months ago. Signed wife and daughter up too. Came back to the US from Asia via LAX. 3 Minutes total vs lines of several hundred people. Two weeks ago I came back from AUS via LAX, same kind of lines, 3 minutes for me. 100% worth it!
    OceanBreezes likes this.
  12. circi

    circi Silver Member

    I semi-signed up for this but didn't have my birth certificate with me to finish. I wasn't aware of the $100 fee! I'm thinking it's not worth it just to speed through TSA. Maybe for international travelers but for domestic I just don't see it.
  13. estnet
    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    This is "global ENTRY" - it is for expediting immigration entry when returning to the US from overseas and has nothing to do (directly) with TSA.
  14. anabolism
    • Original Member

    anabolism Gold Member

    A good post, thanks.

    A few quibbles: you get a number which is your Global Entry number, but I believe this is not a redress number. I could easily be wrong, but I thought a redress number is given to those who complain about getting SSSS or denied boarding because of having a name too close to someone on a watch or no-fly list; the number is a key to the process of redressing (fixing) the problem. By contrast, a Global Entry member number identifies you as having been screened and accepted onto a Trusted Traveler program.

    TSA Pre-Check is a separate Known Traveler program run by TSA that accepts as eligible either high-status frequent flyers of participating airlines (only a few since the program is still new) or members of Global Entry or another CBP Trusted Traveler program (SENTRI or NEXUS) and who have opted-in.

    While CBP Trusted Traveler programs aim to provide expedited entry into the U.S. each time, TSA Pre-Check grants a random selection of eligible travelers access to expedited security screening per-screen.

    Also, the GE kiosks I've used scan your passport (no swipe), then analyze your fingerprints, then take your picture, then present three screens of yes/no questions regarding what you're bringing and your flight info. You then get a pass/fail slip which you take to an agent (used to be that with a pass slip you walked in without seeing an agent).

    Depending on the airport, terminal, and time of day, GE has saved me from no time to about an hour. LAX T4 can be empty or packed. The latter saves up to 45 minutes to clear immigration plus 15-30 at customs. MIA can be a zoo.

    Sent from my iPod Touch using milepoint
    OceanBreezes, mattsteg and tahsir21 like this.
  15. circi

    circi Silver Member

    It was presented to me by TSA as a way of getting through quicker and without having to remove shoes/liquids/coats.
  16. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    That may be, but it also is one of several direct means to make yourself eligible for TSA Precheck. On the balance, I'd say that there's a pretty direct relationship between GE and the TSA, even if CBP runs GE.

    anabolism has done a rather nice job of summarizing the programs.
    OceanBreezes likes this.
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
    • Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Yesterday I actually had to wait about a minute in line at SFO to use one of the three (out of four) working kiosks!

    In other words, if you haven't signed up yet, DON'T! DON'T RUIN IT for those of us who paid $100 and now expect no-wait immigration. ;)
  18. estnet
    • Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    YMMV, but precheck is NOT guaranteed every time as is GE and it is not available at many airports. Most TSA people don't even know what GE is!
    OceanBreezes likes this.
  19. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    I'm not sure where you get the idea that anyone is claiming otherwise.
  20. ACMM
    • Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

    That is what I thought about Nexus :D Too many Nexus-lice :D Now that they have installed GE machines in YYZ as well as Nexus (and I got GE for free ;)) it makes life so much easier :)
  21. IDGflygirl
    • Original Member

    IDGflygirl Gold Member

    The main benefit of GE is for international travelers, at this point. TT/pre-check is not at my home airport yet (EWR), but GE has saved me tons of time with int'l arrivals. It might be worthwhile for you if you don't have to pay the fee (available to UA 1ks & AmEx Plat cardholders), but otherwise it may not be cost-effective for you.
    OceanBreezes likes this.
  22. swag
    • Original Member

    swag Silver Member

    I rarely travel internationally, maybe once every few years, but I travel a lot domestically and would love an easier checkpoint experience. My home airport is DFW, and my top destination is CLT, both of which have PreCheck. Other than elite status (I'm AA GLD, but AA required PLT+ for PreCheck based on status), is Global Entry the cheapest/easiest way to get into the PreCheck program?

    Besides Amex plat card, are there any other discounts or reimbursements available?

    Once I pay the $100 fee, how long does the membership last?

    I'm a US citizen, US-born, no criminal record. Are there any other gotchas I should be aware of that might result in a denial?
  23. IDGflygirl
    • Original Member

    IDGflygirl Gold Member

    GE is good for 5 yrs.
    Gargoyle likes this.
  24. deltagoldLass

    deltagoldLass Silver Member

    I live my Ge card
    Returning to JFK's massive lines
    It's a pleasure
    IDGflygirl likes this.
  25. IDGflygirl
    • Original Member

    IDGflygirl Gold Member

    I've had GE for a while, but really appreciated it when I had to come back w/my son (who didn't have GE at teh time) & had to stand in teh lines!:eek: Thankfully, son got approved for GE recently!:cool:
    dhammer53 likes this.

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