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Mobile Passport App
Old 09-08-2016, 10:22 AM   #1
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Mobile Passport App

Anyone tried using this yet?

When we travel back to the USA in November we'll be arriving by sea so won't have a chance to use it. Maybe next year if Houston IAH airport has joined the list of airports using the passport app.

Mobile Passport App - The App for US customs and immigration
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have the app. but haven't really felt a big need to use it.

I also have Global Entry so I go to the kiosks, go through the touchscreen and print out the receipt and then show the customs officer along with my passport.

If it worked in airports overseas, I could see more of a need for it but in the US, they only ask to see your passport when you're checking in at the counter, going through security and boarding.

Especially when I go through security, I keep my iPhone in my fanny pack, which I put through the X-ray. So it would be a hassle to take it out.

Mobile boarding passes are like that too and some agents would print out paper passes without my necessarily asking.

Also mobile boarding passes may not always show TSA Pre Check marking.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:51 AM   #3
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I got the app and tried using it on a trip a couple of months ago. Waste of time.
As I see it, it's merely an alternative for those who are not in the Global Entry program, which works fine for me.

When I decided to try using the mobile pass app, I did all the right things, activating it upon landing as instructed. Then got in a line marked Mobile Pass, which was right next to the Global Entry line. But both lines ended at the same place, next to the Global Entry kiosks. No way to do anything but use the kiosk as normal, and no more signs for mobile pass anywhere.

So if you're in Global Entry, I would say don't bother with the app.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:11 AM   #4
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Good info.

We both already have GE so I guess we won't bother trying out the app.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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Well GE does cost $20 a year for 5 years, though these days, a lot of credit cards will credit you the $100 fee.

Though they usually have high annual fees.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. I never knew about this option. I will try it in October when I enter in Orlando. The only problem is that I won't have any data on my cell upon landing. Does anyone know if wifi is available in line to the kiosk?
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:59 PM   #7
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That would depend on the airport. You would have to check with Orlando's airport to see if they offer free wifi.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:01 PM   #8
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I tried the app when returning from Europe in July and it wouldn't work after repeated tries. At JFK, the line for those using the app was MUCH shorter than the regular line, so I was bummed.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
I tried the app when returning from Europe in July and it wouldn't work after repeated tries. At JFK, the line for those using the app was MUCH shorter than the regular line, so I was bummed.
When I tried it, also at JFK in late June, the app worked perfectly, but there was no place to show it to anyone. Fortunately, the Global Entry kiosk worked as well as usual, so I didn't care.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
That would depend on the airport. You would have to check with Orlando's airport to see if they offer free wifi.
They do. When we used it (one month ago) the service level was (use your favorite scatological term). Inside the terminal I couldn't get our Verizon data signal, so were offline until we were well away from the airport.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:57 PM   #11
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We used it returning to ATL in July; it worked well. No problem getting an AT&T signal; while the folks guiding returning travelers weren't really used to it yet they knew about it and got us in a much shorter (non-existent actually) line. Two quick stops with agents who need to see both your phone and your passport and you're through. I expect over the next few months ATL will have a better system to guide users to the right line--but also slightly longer lines as more people use the app.

While it worked well, it's not quite global entry. But if you're traveling with a family member who doesn't have GE, it seems like the next best thing.
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