Discovering the World of Global Entry

In the world of luxury travel, there are many things I have learned.  First, my job as a travel advisor is to give advice based on my first-hand experiences so I know what works and what doesn't.  Next, that well-traveled individuals HATE, and I mean HATE, to stand in
line.  Most hotels and cruise lines make a conscious effort to help travelers avoid lines, however, US Customs and Immigration was different.  Traditionally travelers would spend a small eternity (anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes or more) waiting on line to be welcomed home after long international flights.  This was a sad fact because as advisors, we would spend hours planning the perfect vacation, carefully selecting the itinerary, choosing the hotels and arranging flights on the airline with the best on-board experience, only to have our precious travelers left holding their bags in an endless line when re-entering the US.  Traditionally, this was out of our control, however now, with the new Global Entry program, we can make those lines disappear and the trip home seamless.  So, as all good travel advisors do, I took the two hour ride to JFK Airport to complete my Global Entry application, so I can test the system and make a recommendation.

The Global Entry membership allows travelers to walk past the long lines at immigration and customs, breeze up to a kiosk, insert their passport and have their fingerprints scanned.  They then bypass the immigration agent, for they have already been pre-qualified as a Global Entry traveler.  For those of you who travel internationally and are unfamiliar with Global Entry, you need to pay attention because this information will change your traveling life forever.

The Global Entry membership program allows travelers to go through an application and screening process in order to bypass immigration and customs lines when you re-enter the US from abroad.  The application is quite simple and only takes a few minutes online and the interview, which is scheduled in advance with the Global Entry Officer, is only about 15 minutes long. Once the interview is complete, you are photographed and fingerprinted, which allows you to use the kiosk in the airport when re-entering the US.  The membership fee is $100 and lasts for 5 years AND, as if that wasn't good enough, you are automatically qualified for TSA PreCheck clearance, which allows you to keep your shoes on and laptop in your bag at certain domestic airports when you travel domestically.  Also, anyone paying with an American Express Platinum card will receive reimbursement for the charges.

There are a few qualifications for Global Entry, however, as long as you haven’t broken any laws, smuggled snails in to the country or lied on your application, you should be all set.  For more information on Global Entry, you can CLICK HERE for a Global Entry brochure or go online to www.globalentry.gov

So, this past October, when I returned from hosting a Voyager Club group on the Silver Spirit, I tested the system and it worked.  As I walked past all the weary travelers waiting in the endless line at the airport, I realized that my journey to JFK was well worth it.  What is even better is knowing my clients, will do the same.  

Popular posts from this blog

Local travel firm Largay takes flight

Emotions Enhance Memory

Four Seasons at WDW