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USA's Global Entry / Trusted Traveler Program
Old 01-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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USA's Global Entry / Trusted Traveler Program

Anyone here enrolled in the the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program?

Are there any downsides to participating in this program other than the $100 fee?

Something about being in yet another government database bothers me; but, I am starting to think that standing in immigration and customs lines may be worse.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
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Anyone here enrolled in the the Global Entry Trusted Traveler Program?

Are there any downsides to participating in this program other than the $100 fee?

Something about being in yet another government database bothers me; but, I am starting to think that standing in immigration and customs lines may be worse.
I'm not but I know some people that are. I don't think you will be exposed to any new databases and easier transit through the security check is a plus.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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I did it I did it!!!!

Our appointment is at the end of March and we have to drive all the way to Charlotte for it. But we decided now was the right time to go ahead and get the card

My take on being "in the system" is this: where we are traveling, I might want the govt to know I'm a trusted traveler. And I've had very positive experiences with using the STEP program in the past. The embassy was able to tell my nervous dad that we were nowhere near the demonstrations, which was a great comfort to him!

Yes it is a bit costly, but the card will hopefully be worth it, both for security lines when eligible, and also for customs re-entry. I was surprised at how long away our interviews are, though. Nothing available sooner than March, and I applied in early January.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Are there any downsides to participating in this program other than the $100 fee?
You're supporting a program that is at best security theatre and at worst actually making things less safe?
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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I've been in it for a year. Used it three times to bypass passport and customs control when reentering the U.S. Basically you just walk past the lines, stop at a kiosk for about a 60 second check-through, then walk out the doors. Works like a champ.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
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I've been in it for a year. Used it three times to bypass passport and customs control when reentering the U.S. Basically you just walk past the lines, stop at a kiosk for about a 60 second check-through, then walk out the doors. Works like a champ.
Fantastic!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Fantastic!
+1
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
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I will almost certainly schedule my interview for a day when I am actually flying since I do not have an option close to home. I did notice that offices in different airports have vastly different availability for scheduling the interview.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:04 AM   #9
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Cool, you are luck--we have two choices, Atlanta and Charlotte. And they are open very odd hours, limited days, etc. So our times were quite limited. If you go ahead and fill out the forms and send them your money, you'll get notice (ours took a week, but maybe we are dangerous or something) as to when you can schedule the time.
Since we don't fly regularly, I couldn't wait for a better time. It seemed that Charlotte only offered choices on just a few days anyway.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #10
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As mentioned earlier. We have used this and entering the US was excellent. Nice to pass up the long lines when you are tired and just get right through.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #11
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I am in the database but have not done the interview. I tried to do a walk-in during a layover, which some have success with but was turned away. My interview was rescheduled for March. I think it took several weeks before I was eligible to schedule an interview.

The Amex Plat card will reimburse the $100 fee one time for cardholders (good for 5 years). If you are able to use the $100 Global entry fee, + the $200 Airline incidentals (calendar year, so January 2012 + January 2013 an option), + $25 small biz Saturday (assume it repeats), you can make this outrageously expensive card ($450) pay for one year, then get the perks (airline club access) for that time. The Mercedes offer has the better sign on bonus (50K vs 25K) at the moment.

I paid the $100 out of pocket but jumped on the recent (2-3 w*rk trips a year), brief 100K points amex plat offer and am considering if my wife would like global entry. The perk for her would be the link between Global entry and the TSA Pre system for security on domestic flights. Since we won't vacation internationally without the kids (who would need their own Global Entry status, absurd) it may have limited utility.

That said, if we churn the plat card two more times the whole family could be in the database. . .
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #12
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I fly enough that a couple of airlines offered to pay my fee; so, I filled out the forms late last year taking advantage of that offer. Took them 2-3 weeks, if I recall correctly, to send my conditional approval; not sure if I am dangerous or if it was just the holidays that slowed them down.

I haven't flown through an airport that was convenient for the interview yet but plan to next month. I cannot remember how many months I would have had to wait to get an interview in Miami; but, I think I can get one pretty much any day I want in Houston. Other airports that I use frequently are somewhere between these two extremes.

I still feel a bit odd about being fingerprinted which prompted my original post; but, I am looking very forward to bypassing the long immigration and customs lines. (I did not realize until a few months ago that the program included a customs fast lane.)
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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Sesq, it was the possibility of getting Pre-Check that really tilted it for us. We don't do a lot of regular flying. I tried to make the Amex Plat thing work for me, but just couldn't do it. I did pick up the 70k miles Delta/Amex offer in 2012 and will be using those miles on Korean Air for my flights back from Mongolia this summer.

Cool, I've never been fingerprinted (thank goodness) but it will seem weird to me, as well. I mean, to be "in the system" as it were.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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I am not thrilled about the finger print thing. My wife who used to w*rk in schools laughs at me since she has been in the system for years.

I sat on the sidelines for the Delta offer, as the timing wasn't right. Can't get them all right? I am tempted by the PRG Biz 75K that is going on right now (til Monday morning), but it seems greedy and I don't like to get too fancy in terms of manufacturing spend gimmicks. At least that one seems to pop up every few months.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #15
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I use it, and it is the bee knees. Since we started flying premium cabin recently, it has been a breeze. From the time our wheels hit the ground to when we were standing at our next gate took us 30 mins last time we flew internationally. That includes taxiing to the jetway, deplaning, immigration, gathering checked bags for customs, rechecking bags (which was more than a drop off), clearing security again and finally, walking to our gate. Some of that is premium cabin perks rather than global entry...

The biggest advantage is the pre-check program when flying domestically. No line, do not have to remove toiletries, laptop, shoes, sweater, coat etc. Put things on conveyer belt and walk through a metal detector. Oh how sweet it is. Of course the downfall is you never know when you won't be selected for the program, so you can't plan on a 30 second security check and show up late. But, I'd rather be munching on my auntie anne's pretzel rather than standing in a security line.

One trick if paying outright, if you do Nexus, it costs $50 and includes global entry. If you do global entry it costs $100 and includes nexus. A little tip from the TSA agent who did our GE interview. Of course, you need to live near or be visiting the Canadian border. Don't try to make sense of it, just roll with it...
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:45 AM   #16
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I am not thrilled about the finger print thing. My wife who used to w*rk in schools laughs at me since she has been in the system for years.

I sat on the sidelines for the Delta offer, as the timing wasn't right. Can't get them all right? I am tempted by the PRG Biz 75K that is going on right now (til Monday morning), but it seems greedy and I don't like to get too fancy in terms of manufacturing spend gimmicks. At least that one seems to pop up every few months.
I'm just finishing my spend for the Delta 70k offer. I also just pulled the trigger on the Amex Plat 100k. The $450 fee is steep, but I got my $200 in airline gift cards already and will sign DD up for GE. Also applied to 3 other cards when the Amex Plat offer was about.

I wouldn't worry about the finger print thing. I'm already in the system though for a concealed carry permit.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #17
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ron, question for you (and Sesq) -I'm working on Southwest spends right now, both personal and business cards. Still not sure what I'm going to do for the rest of the points needed to bump up to the companion pass. I've got the spend done on the personal, and now working on the business. Any tips if you or Sesq have done these before?
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:08 AM   #18
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ron, question for you (and Sesq) -I'm working on Southwest spends right now, both personal and business cards. Still not sure what I'm going to do for the rest of the points needed to bump up to the companion pass. I've got the spend done on the personal, and now working on the business. Any tips if you or Sesq have done these before?
Depends on how crazy you want to get.

What do you need, $4k to $7k worth of spend? Don't forget to use the RR shopping portal when shopping online!

https://rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com/

Are you running AP? Between you and the hubby, that is $2k in spend a month.

Have you seen this as well? It pains me to see UR points used in this fashion, but we all have different goals!

10 Ways To Get Extra Points Towards The Southwest Companion Pass | Million Mile Secrets
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:14 AM   #19
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...If you do global entry it costs $100 and includes nexus...
I did not realize this; thank you.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #20
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ron, thanks--I've not done AP yet, but have a friend who wants me to. I think that I can do the Marriott and BW points transfer to SW, plus maybe some flowers for my mother-in-law and get the points I need. Thanks very much for the links! And, not so much on the "Crazy" one. Too nerve-wracking for me! I have used the UR portal, didn't realize RR had one as well. Really appreciate that tip, too!
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