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Global Entry Pass and TSA Travel Pre-check
Old 02-27-2016, 01:12 PM   #1
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Global Entry Pass and TSA Travel Pre-check

When I looked at a Global Entry Pass a few years ago, the nearest enrollment center was in Houston. So I never applied for a KTN - Known Traveler Number.

I took a look at this again recently, and there are far more enrollment centers. I saw there was one in Brownsville, which is over an hour drive. Then I realized there was another nearby at an international bridge only 6 miles away! So I have applied.

Last time I returned the US from Europe it took well over an hour to get through initial customs checkpoint, grab bags, and then pass through the final customs check. Then on to re-check bags and go through security again.

With the $100 Global Entry Pass, you are diverted to much shorter lines with a streamlined customs entry process. And you always have TSA pre-check status for regular domestic airport security - which may have lines, but since you don't have to take off shoes, remove laptops or bags of carry-on liquids from carry-on luggage, tend to go much faster and are far less inconvenient.

Once you have a KTN, enter it in your traveler information for your frequent flier accounts, and when boarding passes are issued for your flight you will automatically be given TSA pre-check status on your boarding pass.

Even if you don't fly internationally, you can still get a KTN for TSA Pre-check for domestic flights - a slightly different enrollment process. This is $85 for enrollment.

I'm hoping I can get an GE pass interview quickly. Supposedly it only takes two weeks from the interview to get your passes in the mail. I'm hoping to have TSA pre-check in place by my next trip.

More info:
Global Entry vs. TSA Pre-Check: Which Is Worth It?
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:04 PM   #2
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I got Global Entry last year when we got a credit card that reimburses the fee, and I'm loving the precheck feature for domestic travel.

You actually don't need the card unless you're driving back across a border. They approve your enrollment while you're at the interview with customs, and they add the KTN to your passport record and give it to you on a printout right then, so you can use it immediately. If you have upcoming flight reservations, you have to call the airline to have it added to your ticket -- you can't change passenger info online after booking.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:05 PM   #3
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Well worth it. We went with GOES as soon as we found out about it--even scheduled a long layover in Miami to set up the interview. Even though, pre-retirement, we only get out of the country once or twice a year, we've thought the $100 for each of us was well-justified on several occasions by a single entry. (We hate lines....)

(Precheck also is great--except for busy times when TSA evens out the lines and puts people in precheck who don't know how to do it....)
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:15 PM   #4
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GOES really is a great system. We got onboard over two years ago.

But we live close enough to Canada that we went with NEXUS. That gives us all the benefits of GOES at half the price, plus expedited entry into/out of Canada.

In July 2014, we were coming back home after a long trip and drove across the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The backup was absolutely horrendous on the Canadian side trying to get to the US. I estimated that at the rate we were moving it would take close to two hours to get to the bridge itself.

Then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spotted an empty lane marked "NEXUS Only" and I was lucky enough to be able to wiggle over to it. Cruised up to the booth, showed our NEXUS cards, got "Have a nice day!" and over the bridge we went.

Although I know we don't have that many northern tier folks here, if you're willing to drive to one of the Canadian border crossings, the NEXUS program is way better than GOES. $50 for five years instead of $100, and the Canadian crossing advantage as well. Otherwise, the two programs are identical.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:27 PM   #5
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I love Global Entry ! Nothing like coming back into the country after a day of traveling and walking up to the Global Entry Kiosk rather than the long wait. For domestic travel, it is nicer, but re-entry into the States is the real benefit !

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Old 02-27-2016, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathy63 View Post
I got Global Entry last year when we got a credit card that reimburses the fee, and I'm loving the precheck feature for domestic travel.

You actually don't need the card unless you're driving back across a border. They approve your enrollment while you're at the interview with customs, and they add the KTN to your passport record and give it to you on a printout right then, so you can use it immediately. If you have upcoming flight reservations, you have to call the airline to have it added to your ticket -- you can't change passenger info online after booking.
Oh, great! Good to know I get my KTN right away. I have a place to enter that in United's site.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:23 PM   #7
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Global entry is the best! United Airlines even pays for mine and my GF because of my 2 million mile status.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:08 PM   #8
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We just got ours. It took forever to get an appointment in San Antonio, but it was very quick to get our cards once we finally got the appointment. I don't think it took 2 weeks - I think it was less. And yes, they give you the number right away to enter into your airline account.

If you have any existing reservations, you might want to check to see if the KTN number flows through. It didn't for us on American - I had to enter it into each existing reservation even after I updated the frequent flyer account.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:20 PM   #9
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We just got ours. It took forever to get an appointment in San Antonio, but it was very quick to get our cards once we finally got the appointment. I don't think it took 2 weeks - I think it was less. And yes, they give you the number right away to enter into your airline account.

If you have any existing reservations, you might want to check to see if the KTN number flows through. It didn't for us on American - I had to enter it into each existing reservation even after I updated the frequent flyer account.
I read various things about getting an appointment - that it can get really delayed. Apparently you should go ahead and make the first available appointment, and then just keep checking to look for openings and reschedule.

Also - one place is close enough to swing by and just ask if they will take walk-ins.

At least I have two places close enough here, even if one of them is a 1 hour+ drive. They might be really busy though. I'm sure lots of folks here go to get their SENTRI card (car border crossing rapid lanes).

On United, inside the reservation, there is a place to edit traveler info. I only have one reservation right now, so it shouldn't be to bad, I hope.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:29 PM   #10
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Most major US & Canadian airports now have kiosks with automated passport control, which in my limited experience (Houston a few weeks ago, and Dallas a year ago) have largely reduced or eliminated lines for US immigration control for US & Canadian citizens. Your passport is scanned, a photo is taken, you answer a few questions on the screen, and it spits out a piece of paper which you hand to an ICE agent. I think the entire process took me about 2 minutes each time.

Automated Passport Control (APC) | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

One thing which was annoying, however, was that although my boarding pass for my connecting flight in Houston said "TSA Precheck", when I proceeded to security after clearing customs, they said they didn't have a Precheck line for passengers arriving from international flights.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:16 PM   #11
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Most major US & Canadian airports now have kiosks with automated passport control, which in my limited experience (Houston a few weeks ago, and Dallas a year ago) have largely reduced or eliminated lines for US immigration control for US & Canadian citizens. Your passport is scanned, a photo is taken, you answer a few questions on the screen, and it spits out a piece of paper which you hand to an ICE agent. I think the entire process took me about 2 minutes each time.

Automated Passport Control (APC) | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

One thing which was annoying, however, was that although my boarding pass for my connecting flight in Houston said "TSA Precheck", when I proceeded to security after clearing customs, they said they didn't have a Precheck line for passengers arriving from international flights.
Hah - my 1 hour time though customs was at IAH with passport control kiosks. It was terrible!

That was my third time through customs there, and by far the worst.

I think there were just so many international flights arriving at the same time.

There was a TSA Precheck for returning through security. I can't say it moved any faster, but at least we didn't have to take off stuff and unpack stuff.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:18 PM   #12
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My husband has TSA pre check while I don't. I don't know whether it's worth it for me to sign up.


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Old 02-28-2016, 12:59 AM   #13
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My Wife and I got nexus last year (Canadian).
We don't travel a lot, only 2 - 3 times per year, but we love it.

So much easier and quicker through security at most airports, and no hassles at customs.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Richard4444 View Post
I love Global Entry ! Nothing like coming back into the country after a day of traveling and walking up to the Global Entry Kiosk rather than the long wait. For domestic travel, it is nicer, but re-entry into the States is the real benefit !
Just came back through LAX last week, everyone (US Citizens) now use an Entry Kiosk to scan their passport, take a photo/fingerprints, and answer a few questions. You do still have to see a customs agent after using the kiosk but it did seem to go faster then in the past. Got through to the baggage area in about 20 minutes.
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:09 AM   #15
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My husband has TSA pre check while I don't. I don't know whether it's worth it for me to sign up.


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I recently flew out of Orlando and the regular checkin had over 250 people in line. Pre-check was 10 people long.

Anyone know how long the KTN is good for? Do you have to get it renewed?
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:05 AM   #16
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I recently flew out of Orlando and the regular checkin had over 250 people in line. Pre-check was 10 people long.

Anyone know how long the KTN is good for? Do you have to get it renewed?
Renewal and fee every five years.
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Old 02-28-2016, 03:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
GOES really is a great system. We got onboard over two years ago.

But we live close enough to Canada that we went with NEXUS. That gives us all the benefits of GOES at half the price, plus expedited entry into/out of Canada.

In July 2014, we were coming back home after a long trip and drove across the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. The backup was absolutely horrendous on the Canadian side trying to get to the US. I estimated that at the rate we were moving it would take close to two hours to get to the bridge itself.

Then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spotted an empty lane marked "NEXUS Only" and I was lucky enough to be able to wiggle over to it. Cruised up to the booth, showed our NEXUS cards, got "Have a nice day!" and over the bridge we went.

Although I know we don't have that many northern tier folks here, if you're willing to drive to one of the Canadian border crossings, the NEXUS program is way better than GOES. $50 for five years instead of $100, and the Canadian crossing advantage as well. Otherwise, the two programs are identical.
How many pages is the application ?
Do you need to have your vehicle checked by them ?
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #18
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How many pages is the application ?
Do you need to have your vehicle checked by them ?
It's a pretty quick online application, and has nothing to do with your vehicle, only you. Maybe you thought that when I said "drive" I meant your car was involved, but you can get there any way at all.

There are a lot of places where you can get your interview once it's scheduled:

NEXUS Pass Interview Centers | USA Immigration Visa & Travel
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:50 PM   #19
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My understanding is that while having Global Entry makes you automatically eligible for TSA pre-check, it does not guarantee that you will receive it every time. We have Global Entry and travel domestically quite often and have been selected for pre-check almost every single time, but there have been a handful of times where we were not selected. We were appropriately outraged.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #20
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While you are waiting for your Global Entry interview, you should check out the app called "Mobile Passport" on your IPhone or Android. It is free and can be faster than Mobile Entry, if the Kiosks are busy. Not all airports use Mobile Passport but handy for those that do.
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