Each Friday we are going to post an opinion on a topic in the hopes of starting a discussion. The opinion could be on a hot topic in the travel and adventure world, or it could be an opinion on something as simple as my travel preferences, photography, or another topic.
We hope that this will sparks some fun and interesting discussions, while letting you get to know us better and allowing us to learn a little bit about you. We would love to hear your feedback. We want to hear from you, especially if you disagree with us!
This week’s Sound-off topic: Is Global Entry still worth it?
There are a lot of people in this world who love to travel. Some of those people can’t stand the “getting there” part of travel, and some people don’t mind it as much. However, I don’t think anyone enjoys waiting in a long customs line to get back into the country.
That’s what made Global Entry so attractive when the US Customs and Border Patrol Agency (CBP) started offering it. For a $100 fee and an interview with CBP, and a background check, you could get expedited entry back into the United States if you qualified.
Mobile Passport Application
However, in the years since the CBP started offering Global Entry, they have made some big strides in automating the entry process. A few years back, CBP released a new Mobile Passport App (pictured below) that is available through the Apple App Store or Google Play that does a fantastic job of streamlining the global entry process.
In short, the app will request some basic information about yourself and your trip, and then ask you some basic Yes\No questions that you would typically be asked on the CBP’s immigration form.
While you can do some pre-work by filling out the basic information about yourself and your trip while in country abroad, the Yes\No customs questions must be answered in the app when you land back in the United States. Once you are done answering the questions, you press the “Submit Now” button to get access to your QR code.
When you land, there are special lanes for Mobile Passport users, just as there are expedited lines for Global Entry users. When you get to the front of the line, the agent scans your QR code, takes your passport, asks you a few questions, and you are on your way.
Is Global Entry Still Worth the Investment?
When we returned from Tanzania thru Atlanta, I used the Global Entry kiosks to get thru Customers and Border Control while the rest of my party used the Mobile Passport application. And to my surprise, I only beat them thru by a few minutes.
So, that brings me to my questions. What have your experiences been with Global Entry and the Mobile Passport application? Is Global Entry still worth the investment? I am really interested in hearing your thoughts!