Today we are going to Muse about the TSA, airport security and Global Entry. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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That was the short. Now for the main feature: Global Entry.
Tired of standing in long lines waiting to go through security at the airport? Tired of being herded along like cattle? Tired of taking off your shoes and your belt? Well I have the answer for you . . . Global Entry.
Jeanette and I go down to Mexico often and to Europe on occasion. Coming back through customs can be a long and unpleasant experience. It can take hours. I’ve read that with the sequester and the cutting back on TSA personnel the ordeal is even longer.
A couple of months ago I read that a person can apply for a Global Entry card and avoid all the hassle. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. So we decided we would look into it. Here is how it works.
First you must make an application through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) at https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes The cost is a non-refundable $100, which if you are approved, will give you the Global Entry for five years. The application is pretty straight forward: name, address, date of birth, etc.
GOES assigns you an application ID number. You will need to go to a Global Entry office for an interview once you application is Conditionally Approved. The system instructs you to periodically check the website to learn when you have been Conditionally Approved and can schedule the interview.
In our case it took about four weeks. Once we were Conditionally Approved we were given a list of Global Entry Offices and instructed go online and schedule an interview. We looked at the list which started Albuquerque International Airport, Atlanta Port Office, Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport and on and on. Eventually we came to Fort Lauderdale.
“OK. That is only 47 miles away”
We went into the site and received a message
“No appointments are available at Fort Lauderdale.”
Hmm! Well, then there was Miami International Airport. It is only 67 miles away. We went into the site and found that three weeks hence on a Thursday there was a slot at 1:20 AM and second slot at 2:40 AM. Nah! I didn’t like that.
OK. How about Tampa? That is only about 250 miles away. Went on the site and, Lo and Behold! In four weeks there were appointments available at 10:20 and 10:40 in the morning.
Well, what the hey! That gives us a reason for a quick overnight, a chance to see some new things.
So we scheduled ourselves.
That is what we did this past week. Drove over to Tampa. Took the turnpike up to Kissimmee (which we didn’t much like) and across to Tampa. The next day coming home to West Palm Beach, we went down the I-75 to Fort Myers and across on SR 80 through LaBelle, Clewiston and Belle Glade which we liked better.
The interviews were almost non-events. We were photographed and finger printed. The officer asked a few questions and examined our passports and driver’s licenses. And then we were approved. We should receive our Global Entry cards in about seven days.
Here is what we learned: The cards allow entry into the country without going through the long lines at customs.
We will just go to a kiosk scan our passport and place our finger prints on the screen. We will be given an entry receipt. The process should take less than five minutes. Huzzah!
But here is the terrific part: Global Entry works on domestic flights! No more shuffling our way along through the TSA lines. At each security center there are lines available to people with the Global Entry cards. Just take your boarding pass, ID and the card and pass through. No standing in line. No taking off shoes and belts. Quick. If there is not a specific Global Entry line we are to use the lines available to the flight crews. If this works like we have been told it will, it will be worth the little aggravation involved in getting the card.
If you travel much, you might want to look into it for yourself.
More to come.
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Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available Click on title below to preview
Original Works: Aerial Portraits Of The Land
- Nebraska Oil on canvas 48″ x 38″ SOLD
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- Global Entry / TSA Pre✓™ is the BEST (skysense4u.com)