Global Entry Interview

Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 06:46 AM
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Global Entry Interview

After searching unsuccessfully for my prior comments, I decided to start a new thread. This is posted on the "Airport" forum also.

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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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 06:47 AM
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Make that "Air Travel" forum!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:03 AM
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We've never swiped our card but do need to insert passport into the kiosk slot and put fingers on the appropriate spot. The kiosk also takes your photo. We just take the receipt the machine spits out and walk past the passport control booths and wave it at the customs guy. Some airports have a separate line for customs as well. You just show them the receipt. Very quick in most instances.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Follow the flight crew. In Philly the machine was right there where the rest of us stood in line waiting to go through customs. This would be nice if you had a connecting flight and not much time. I go to Europe maybe twice a year and soon will be space A so don't think it is worth it to me but for those that fly International more than twice a year I would go for it.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Good information! One slight correction, I think you might be confusing 2 programs, Global Entry and TSA Precheck. You are entitled to both when you sign up for Global Entry. it's all AIRPORTS do not have Global Entry. The TSA Precheck is limited to certain AIRLINES at this point.

We just used the Global Entry for the first time upon our return from Turkey to IAD. What a pleasure to go right to the Global Entry Kiosk and skip the Passport Control long line. Mine had an X on the paper so I had to go over to passport control, but they took me immediately and I whizzed thru. We got our luggage and for one of the first times, Customs had a very long line, so once again we followed the Global Entry signs and went right thru. It was great! Money well spent.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 09:00 AM
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I think it would be worth it if you traveled to foreign countries a lot. I only do about once a year so not sure it would be worth it to me, especially if all airports don't have it.

I was wondering about the questions on arrests. Do they ask you if you've ever been arrested, or just if you've been convicted?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 09:07 AM
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I think most international airports have Global Entry, at least any we've flown into. We always have to connect to get to Norfolk so saving time is well worth the $20/year for us. Norfolk is now getting TSA precheck so we'll have an easier time coming and going.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 09:26 AM
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The TSA Pre✓ is good for domestic flights if you fly on one of the airlines that participates. http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
I would agree that if I only flew internationally once a year, the $100 for 5 years might not seem worth it. But if you fly the airlines that participate in
TSA Pre✓ that might make it worth your $$.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 09:29 AM
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Yes, they do ask if you have ever been arrested, not just convicted.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Thanks to all for the good clarifications. I'd pay even more money to avoid that Pre✓. With an e-ticket in hand and no checked luggage, travel might be more like it was in the past.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2013, 12:44 PM
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I've been meaning to do this. Maybe reading about your pretty painless experience will get me moving on it.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Kathie, the distance to the venue and amount of lead time seems to be the biggest issue--see "Air Travel" forum version--poster had to drive 3 hours to the closet place.

Thanks to those for sharing your experiences actually using this system. To all others who have used it, how's it working?
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