Global Entry – Skip Regular Airport Security For $20 A Year!

Whether you are flying domestically or internationally, air travel this summer is going to be a struggle, at the very best.

Per the NYT, “Airline and airport officials have said they fear that the current slowdown will last through the year, and could cause a summer travel meltdown when more than 220 million passengers are expected to fly during the peak travel months of July and August.” (emphasis, mine.)

Literally the next sentence in that article is a just, choice, quote from the TSA Chief of Operations: “This is going to be a rough summer; there is no doubt about it.

Ouch.

Twitter is not helpful, either.

 

This is why, more than ever, I value my Global Entry membership.

Global Entry, as I’ve written about before, is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that expedites the customs experience US citizens have when re-entering the country.

global entry

Global Entry Kiosk – photo courtesy of Department of Homeland Security

Here’s what happens: You skip the regular customs line at the airport and instead put your passport in a kiosk-sized machine, like the one above. You confirm your fingerprints electronically (they have your fingerprints from the initial application), fill out an electronic customs declaration, get a receipt and then head off to baggage claim – and that’s it!

It’s $100 to apply and, assuming acceptance, membership last for 5 years.

In my opinion, $20 a year to be VIP at the border is an absolute pittance.

And, several credit cards, like any American Express Platinum card or the Citi Prestige, will reimburse the application fee.

But here’s the best part: TSA Pre- is free with Global Entry!

FREEEEEEEEE.

tsa pre

TSA Pre-is the greatest. You get:

  • A dedicated, expedited security line
  • No need to take off your light jacket, belt or shoes. Again, no need to take off a light jacket, belt or shoes.
  • No need to take out laptop or bathroom products
  • No new X-ray machines. Instead, you get the old-school ones that don’t pump out a billion x-rays.

tsa precheck 2

Normally, TSA Pre- costs $85 for a five-year membership. Again, Global Entry gives it to you for free

Apply now for Global Entry. Airports don’t have to suck.

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