A mini-trip for Global Entry Interview

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Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:38 AM
  #1
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A mini-trip for Global Entry Interview

After searching unsuccessfully for my prior comments, I decided to start a new thread.

The Global Entry System ("GOES") essentially allows U.S. citizens to bypass the TSA folks. Not all airlines use it yet.

It took me about an hour to complete the online application. I think I did this in August 2013. After entering the info, they give you a list of possible places to go to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed. The first available date for me was not convenient and they did show a calendar with open dates. I chose October--so it was almost 2 months from when I first started the process.

You must bring your passport and driver's license. Online they also said bring some proof of our residency like an electric bill. I took that and the other bills that had come in the mail the day before the interview.

I'm in the Washington, D.C. area so Dulles and BWI airports were close as well as a D.C venue. If you choose BWI as I did, here's some helpful info:

Park in the Hourly lot. If you park in section D, you will be convenient to the overhead walkway but it will be about a 10-minute walk to section E. The GOES office is on the ground floor of section E ("Pier E") in the international flights end of the terminal. If you park in section E, try to get to the ground level where you will walk across to the terminal closer to Pier E.

From Pier D, once you pass the USO, start looking for GOES signs. The area had an air of being newly-furnished, but signage is good. Two Customs Agents were conducting the interviews while those of us waiting sat in the same room. It was quite informal. When it was my turn, no one else was there and the 2 agents and I talked alot about the financée of one of them! Looked at her pictures on his phone.

Anyhow, I was asked if I'd ever been arrested, my agent took my photo and fingerprints (that was done on a screen--no ink!) and pronounced mine perfect. He said he didn't need my bills but did compare passport and driver's to what was online. I was assigned my GOES number and was told I'd get my ID in the mail.

They agents said the BWI venue was relatively new and that the program was so popular that some places had waiting times of months to get appointments. At this writing, they told me most of the U.S. airlines were participating domestically also. Southwest will be joining next year?

Here's what you do: When returning from overseas, you politely refuse the returning form the steward/ess gives out and find an ATM-like machine after you deplane in customs. You complete your info on that machine and swipe your GOES card. Assuming all is complete, you go on your way. Now that I write this, I'm wondering if there is a special way out of customs. Can anyone add to this?

Oh, and each person in your family must apply separately. Hope this is helpful.
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:39 AM
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I'm going to copy this to Europe as well.
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Folks are replying to the Europe post:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...erview.cfm#top
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 02:22 PM
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Only two months your lucky. I applied 8/10 and my appointment date was first given as 11/12, but I had to change it to the 13th, then I received and email yesterday saying due to the shut down it had been changed to later in the month. My nearest airport is San Francisco and for me its a 3 hour drive if the traffic is decent each way so I have to take a whole day off form work to get it done.
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Huh. I wonder if they do sometimes look at proof of residency and how this affects us Americans who live outside of the US.
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 08:38 PM
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<< allows U.S. citizens to bypass the TSA folks>>
friendly amendment - actually, Global Entry is a program of US Customs and Border Protection, not TSA. It allows the holder to use a self service kiosk when entering the US from a foreign country, bypassing the usual lines at immigration/passport control.

TSA (despite what you may hear, not an acronym for "Thousands Standing Around") is the agency that operates on the other end of a trip, when originating from a US airport. They're the bunch that enhance the travel experience by providing an opportunity to slow down from the usual mad dash to departure, allowing time to gather one's thoughts while waiting in line to partially disrobe and walk through a scanner. Some lucky travelers even get a complimentary light touch massage! And let's not forget the terrific opportunity to do a last minute check for forgotten carry on items when unpacking /repacking one's quart bag of 100cc or less bottles of liquids/creams/gels, in time to stop by duty free to pick up replacements.

Global Entry membership does let holders use their trusted traveler number to take advantage of the TSA PreCheck program where it is available, but that's a relatively few airports.
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Oct 22nd, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Love your description of TSA process!
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Oct 23rd, 2013, 07:45 AM
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Seamus
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Oct 24th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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I was pleasantly surprised a couple of days ago when I went to the Portland (PDX) airport and was informed that I had been pre-selected for the pre-check program. Wham! No line. No shoes off, either.
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Oct 25th, 2013, 05:23 AM
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One of the few good things about being 75 or older is that I no longer am required to remove shoes at the airport! Yaaa!
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Oct 25th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I made the mistake of callingg the agency "TSA" when i went in for my Global Entry interview. The agent laughingly reminded me they were border control and that, unlike the TSA wimps, they have guns.
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Oct 26th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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My card arrived today. Will add to this in April when I travel.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 08:31 AM
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Although it's in the TR, I forgot to add to this after the April trip. Coming back from the trip, everyone in the plane except the captain and I stood in a long line. Fingers on a special board and I went right through. I had nothing to declare and did carryon only, so it was wonderful!

Note to all: TSA precheck is not the same thing although I entered my GE number when I made a domestic trip on Southwest and "TSA Precheck" was printed on my boarding pass. HOWEVER, when I made a second Southwest trip, it was not so I called Southwest and had it corrected.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 08:37 AM
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Sorry to not acknowledge your clarification above, Seamus! TSA Precheck is not the same, however, my GOES number got it on my Southwest boarding pass.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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When booking your ticket, be sure to enter your GOES number under " Known Traveler"
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Jul 24th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Thanks, HappyT!
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Jul 22nd, 2015, 08:20 PM
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My preliminary app was approved within two weeks. I immediately signed in to schedule an interview @SFO.

FIRST APPOINTMENT AVAILABLE = 4.5 months from now!


QUESTION: does the interview center ever take walk-ins? I'd rather spend a day (it's a 3-4 hour drive each way to SFO) within the next two months if it's a possibility.
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Jul 22nd, 2015, 09:02 PM
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I would keep looking for cancellations online which happen fairly often or so I understand. The center in DC does take walk ins, but you would need to check with SFO.
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Jul 22nd, 2015, 10:24 PM
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>>FIRST APPOINTMENT AVAILABLE = 4.5 months from now!

QUESTION: does the interview center ever take walk-ins? I'd rather spend a day (it's a 3-4 hour drive each way to SFO) within the next two months if it's a possibility.<<

The same thing when I applied last year. There are several more locations in SoCal so I ended up booking a slot at LAX and flying flying down and back the same day. (I fly out of SMF - but maybe you are closer to one of the Bay area airports)

Got an appt. there in less than 3 weeks and it would have been 5.5 months at SFO.

No - AFAIK they do not do walk ins . . . My entire appt took less than 5 minutes BTW. Actually about 3 mins.
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Jul 22nd, 2015, 10:26 PM
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To clarify -- I meant SFO doesn't take walk ins (AFAIK) it is the only location in NorCal and is essentially totally 100% booked up (Or at least was all of last year)
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