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-   -   Used my Global Entry for the first time (https://www.fodors.com/community/air-travel/used-my-global-entry-for-the-first-time-918933/)

CYESQ Jan 9th, 2012 09:19 PM

Used my Global Entry for the first time
 
I would encourage all of you international frequent travelers to sign up for the Global Entry program. I just used it for the first time coming into Seattle from Amsterdam. There were hundreds of people in the passport control lines. I bypassed them all and went directly to the kiosk, inserted my passport, answered the four questions and was through in 5 minutes. Well worth the $100 and the time to complete the application and personal interview.

hetismij2 Jan 10th, 2012 09:59 AM

Amsterdam is the only European airport which is approved for Global Entry I believe. It is called Privium at Schiphol.

Schiphol and JFK are "sister" airports and intend to increase their ties over the coming year.

RoamsAround Jan 10th, 2012 10:30 AM

The Global Entry Program OP is referring to is for US Citizens arriving back into the US from anywhere in the world. You have to submit an application, pay the required fee, undergo a background check finally have a personal interview. Once approved you simply go to one of the Global Entry Kiosks in The Passport Control Center at your international Arrival Airport, scan your passport and your finger prints, use the screen to answer a few questions and you get a "pass" that you show to the agent as you leave the area. Show that same pass to the US Customs agent as you leave the Customs area (most airports have a separate exit door for Global Entry participants) and you are on your way.

The system works great - takes less than 3 or 4 minutes from the time you enter the Passport Control Area to the time you are exiting customs.

For the frequent traveler the Global Entry Program is a godsend. We've been using it for about a year now, as OP says, it's worth every penny of the $100 fee.

Louise Jan 10th, 2012 10:39 AM

I have been a Nexus card holder for probably 8 years now. I use it for crossing back and forth into Canada. Same background check. I received a postcard that entitled me to go on line and become a Global Entry participant automatically.

CYESQ Jan 11th, 2012 01:55 AM

Thanks RoamsAround for the additional info. Nice to see that you've had success as well. Anything our govt can do to improve its services to US citizens is a godsend and this one they've gotten right. Now we just need to increase the locations where the kiosks are located!

NoFlyZone Jan 11th, 2012 05:29 AM

>Amsterdam is the only European airport which is approved for Global Entry I believe. It is called Privium at Schiphol.

GE is necessary but not sufficient at AMS for US passport holders. Approval in the Privium Program is also required at additional cost.

mrwunrfl Jan 11th, 2012 07:26 AM

At the TBIT at LAX, the benefit came at the customs check. The passport control lines were very short and I thought about using the first one I came to, but walked down to the other end where the GE was. Glad I did that because I had not realized that there were a few hundred people in line for customs. I found the GE line for customs, with NOBODY in it, and the officer called me next just as soon as I got to the front.

travelgourmet Jan 11th, 2012 07:55 AM

I've been using Global Entry for a year or so now. A real time saver and worth the money.

<i>Now we just need to increase the locations where the kiosks are located!</i>

While more is always better, there are kiosks at the top 17 US arrival airports for international travelers. That is pretty impressive coverage. The next busiest port of entry on the list is Charlotte, followed closely by Minneapolis. My experience with Minneapolis is that the passport lines are rarely that long and the introduction of kiosks would be of limited benefit. Everything I've seen suggests Charlotte is similar.

I actually think the next place they should consider placing the terminals might be at the busier cruise ship terminals.

<i>Amsterdam is the only European airport which is approved for Global Entry I believe. It is called Privium at Schiphol. </i>

Two separate systems. Global Entry is a trusted traveler program operated at certain US ports of entry. Joining requires a background check, fingerprints, etc. When entering at ports which support the program, you use a kiosk to scan your passport, check your fingerprints, and answer the customs questions. It doesn't matter which airport you left from, just that the entrance port has the kiosks.

Privium follows a similar process, but I think it uses iris scans, instead of fingerprints.

Where the two meet is that they are both members of the FLUX alliance, under which they share information about the members. Under this program, members of one can become members of the other, though at an extra fee. This allows Dutch citizens who are Privium members to also join Global Entry (and vice versa) even though they don't meet the citizenship/permanent residency requirements.

rkkwan Jan 11th, 2012 05:45 PM

Yes, it's probably worth the money for the traveler to avoid the lines. But requiring a US citizen to pay for what should be their rights - a speedy entry into their own country - is a travesty.

mrwunrfl Jan 11th, 2012 07:30 PM

"Speedy" is relative. I'm willing to pay more for speedier.

CYESQ Jan 11th, 2012 11:47 PM

AMS is a common connection for me so I'm going to look into the Privium program. Thanks for the info.

travelgourmet Jan 12th, 2012 12:05 AM

<i>AMS is a common connection for me so I'm going to look into the Privium program. Thanks for the info.</i>

Do you otherwise have access to the elite passport/security line? SkyTeam Elite+ and SkyTeam business class passengers can use the elite line for connections (to the left as you approach the connection passport gates), as well as when departing AMS. I find that this reduces the time to such a degree that Privium would be superfluous. It is expensive, too. Not worth it for me.

rkkwan Jan 12th, 2012 02:54 AM

As a Hong Kong resident, I am able to get through immigration under a minute with at most two exceptions in over 10 years. Without having to pay a dime. I definitely do not need "speedier" here, unlike heading back to my own country.

CYESQ Jan 15th, 2012 03:57 AM

Thanks travelgourmet, I don't qualify for SkyTeam Elite as all of my travel is coach - even my business travel. Appreciate the suggestion though. Thx

metopera Jan 23rd, 2012 03:47 PM

How long, after submitting the completed application, did the entire process take? Thx

ms_go Jan 23rd, 2012 04:30 PM

<i>How long, after submitting the completed application, did the entire process take? Thx</i>

We applied a little over a year ago. About a day after submitting the applications, we received a follow up e-mail inviting us to schedule our appointments with CBP (we did our interviews at O'Hare). We made the appointments for a date about a week later--could have picked appointments earlier but had to work around school and job schedules. The interview was pretty simple; less than a half hour. Global Entry status was effective immediately after completing the interview.

We've used it twice in the last few weeks and it has saved considerable time just in those two instances--particularly in Toronto, where we bypassed a very long immigration line.

CubFanAlways Jan 23rd, 2012 07:51 PM

I agree with rkkwan "...But requiring a US citizen to pay for what should be their rights - a speedy entry into their own country - is a travesty."

Moreover, no the U.S Goverment is not going to get my fingerprints, and no, I will not give CBP my Social Security Number. I'd rather wait in line.

Considering the lack of lines I see to the Global Entry kiosks, I'm concluding a lot of people feel the same way. No offense intended to those who find it works for them, I've simply chosen to wait in line and not give fingerprints or SSN.

NoFlyZone Jan 24th, 2012 04:30 AM

I don't qualify for SkyTeam Elite as all of my travel is coach.
Coach or business class has nothing to do with it; elite is based on volume of travel (volume being measured generally by miles flown). I book coach 99% of the time and have been ST Elite for years.

the U.S Goverment is not going to get my fingerprints, and no, I will not give CBP my Social Security Number.
It's a tradeoff. They got my prints years ago and several times (for a commercial job, for a federal license, for a clearance, to sell travel insurance...) and they already have access to the SSN. Once more isn't giving up anything. So makes no nevermind to me.

But requiring a US citizen to pay for what should be their rights - a speedy entry into their own country - is a travesty.
Aside from speedy entry not being set forth as a "right" anywhere (the only constitutional speedy right is to a public trial), the government charges for many things which some think should be free (free=right?) such as national parks, licenses, permits, security screening, some roads, Medicare, and a bunch of other stuff. Use fees, basically.

travelgourmet Jan 24th, 2012 04:41 AM

<i>no, I will not give CBP my Social Security Number.</i>

They already have it (assuming they want it). You are required by law to provide it on your passport application (assuming you have an SSN) and the passport application specifically allows for sharing of all information in the application with other governmental agencies for "routine uses". Among the specified uses is "border security". Heck, they can even give your SSN to foreign government agencies!

I can sort of understand being protective of privacy (though I personally don't care much), but it seems odd to draw the line at providing information to the CBP that they already have. If one really was concerned about the CBP having their SSN, then why would you ever get a passport?

<i>Considering the lack of lines I see to the Global Entry kiosks, I'm concluding a lot of people feel the same way.</i>

I suspect the $100 fee and the limited interview locations (primarily at the participating ports of entry) has more to do with it than privacy concerns. If you don't fly internationally at least a few times per year, it simply isn't worth the hassle.

travelgourmet Jan 24th, 2012 04:47 AM

<i>How long, after submitting the completed application, did the entire process take? Thx</i>

I think it took something like 2 weeks for them to process my application. Then I had to schedule an interview, which took maybe 15-20 minutes. The interview is largely a formality, really just verifying your passport info, taking your prints, and showing you how to use the machine. I think the guy asked a couple of questions about the destinations we had been to, but don't recall exactly.

Note that, if you don't live near an interview site, you might need to schedule some time during a connection to get it done.


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