Global Entry, or any other kind of travel/TSA clearance like TSA Pre-Check or Clear, is AMAZING and absolutely worth it. Consider it. Really. If you travel frequently, especially abroad…
Think. About. It. Will notice the difference with your very first trip, promise!
Hands down, the best $100 I’ve ever spent! Fill out an app online (click here for home page/app), pay the $100 fee, and travel for the next 5 years with added security clearance, which will make your wanderlusting much more pleasant and logistically smooth. Have had mine for almost 10 years, after initial app/approval, very easy to keep clearance by renewing online when near expiration. If/when passport expires, just update profile with passport renewal info and you’re good to go.
For obvious reasons, application and approval process is very in-depth with many personal questions. Will also be required to complete in-person interview at a Global Entry approved site as the final step (usually local international airport; at JFK for NY’ers). You may or may not get your Global Entry card on the spot, depends on airport, if not, you’ll get it in the mail. Will be required to bring in original documentation to prove identity, residence, etc. (they’ll tell you what to bring for the appointment), in addition to getting your photo and digital fingerprints taken.
Benefits include going through shorter, faster line dedicated for TSA pre-check members at all domestic airports with all domestic airlines. Don’t have to take off your shoes, jackets, remove laptops/tablets from your bag, along with some other pros.
For international airlines and airports, hit or miss (mostly miss) with pre-check since this is a US program and each country has their own set of rules for airport security. For example, I find that taking off your shoes is a US thing, pre-check or not, in the non-US countries I’ve been to so far, haven’t been required to take off my shoes.
Also find non-US airports are MUCH, much stricter than US airports on liquids. Usually have to transfer liquids from my own zip lock bag into the one they/the airport provides… even though my zip lock is basically the same exact size, lol.
Best, absolute BEST, part of Global Entry is re-entry to the US coming back from a trip abroad. Instead of standing (and waiting) in line for passport control/baggage check (required for all even if you don’t have a checked a bag), you go through a special dedicated line and expedited process with Global Entry. Wait times for these lines can get a bit lengthy, up to an hour usually more.
Near passport control line is another special line with electronic kiosks (usually clearly marked with signs for Global Entry peeps, crew members, and others with TSA clearance) – follow the directions on the touch screen kiosk, like scan your passport, your fingerprints, and instead of manually filling out the US entry form, complete the entry form electronically. Kiosk will take your pic (smile for the camera!), then grab the print out “receipt” from the kiosk. Make note of the special, expedited exit lines for Global Entry members, show the receipt with your passport at final security/baggage check exit and GO HOME! Usually, I’m already on my way home within 20 minutes (or less!) of landing and deplaning.
Once you become a member, when booking flights/tickets, will have to manually add/note your ID number to ensure your ticket is booked with pre-check, otherwise, won’t be able to take advantage of pre-check security lines at the airport. Look at your ticket, if it doesn’t have the pre-check logo on it, call the airline to add your ID number or add through their website and have the ticket re-issued with the pre-check symbol. Google image what these symbols look like if you’re not sure.
Oh! When you book tickets for others while booking your own, they get pre-check too and get to take advantage while traveling with you. So, as long as you book/pay for their tickets directly, you don’t have to wait around for them and your travel companion/party can go through the expedited process with you! Pre-check for domestic flights only, not when re-entering the US from international travel. They’ll have to go through regular process when re-entering the US.
You don’t need the pre-check symbol when coming back to the US to use the kiosks/expedited re-entry process.
For me, personally, I want nothing more than to just get my ass home after a trip abroad, especially if the flight time is more than 10 hours. Also love, LOVE getting in/out of airports as quickly as possible (stopped checking bags because of this), so having this is sooo essential for me. Makes such a difference! And no, I’m not sponsored in any way, just tryin’ to the spread the love!