With lines at airports getting longer, everyone is looking for a way to speed things up. We’ve already talked about TSA Precheck, but have you considered Global Entry? Global Entry, which is run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, helps speed up the process of entering the United States from foreign countries. If you are thinking about becoming a member, you may wonder what Global Entry is and how Global Entry differs from TSA Precheck. I recently went through the process, and learned a little bit along the way.
Global Entry Does Not Guarantee A Quicker Entry Into the US
Global Entry members might be selected at the border for further screening/examination. Of course, you apply for Global Entry hoping that you won’t be selected, and that you will get a quicker entry.
Global Entry Is Different From TSA Precheck
TSA Precheck is run by the TSA rather than the US Customs and Border Protection. TSA Precheck is used when you go through a security line, before you fly, while Global Entry is used once you arrive back on US soil.
If you are a Global Entry member, you can use that number as your known traveler number (KTN) when checking in to a flight in the US. That will give you access to the TSA Precheck line (unless you are chosen for additional screening). However, you can’t use TSA Precheck for Global Entry. If you traveling internationally frequently, Global Entry is probably the best option.
It May Take A While To Get An Appointment
In most cases, you’ll need to go to a local airport for your interview, and appointments can book up well in advance. In Boston, I made an appointment in January and wasn’t able to find availability for the appointment until May. If you are planning an international vacation, it’s best to start the process for each member of the family ASAP. Locally, I’ve talked to families that have chosen to drive to a nearby state, rather than wait for an appointment in Boston. Definitely look at your options if you can’t find a quick appointment locally.
Children Need To Complete the Process As Well
If your kids want to use Global Entry, regardless of age, they’ll need to go through the process. Every single person needs their own Global Entry number. Even babies need their own number. This isn’t necessarily the case for TSA Precheck.
Your Credit Card May Cover Your Membership Fee
Depending on the credit cards you carry, you may find that your fee gets reimbursed. If that’s the case, it really can make it worthwhile. Check out this post to learn more about which credit cards cover the fee. In most cases, it’s only going to cover the fee for the primary cardholder, but find out from your provider before applying.
Do you have Global Entry?
The information listed here is for your convenience, and we make no representations for its current accuracy – always check the US Customs and Border Protection website for the latest and most accurate information.
Related: 7 Air Travel Tips
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