Global Entry, TSA Pre Approved, Nexus and Sentri – important to choose right.
There are the 4 solutions to cut your wait at the airport flying into and out of the States. In the future possibly some International airports with Global Entry ! Also it isn’t just for Americans.
I am going to try to help you choose the right program for your needs. I wish I had done my homework before signing up for TSA Pre check so quickly.
My experience with TSA Pre check
This summer, the family and I were flying from Washington DC to San Francisco, California and the lines were tremendous. I noticed a big sign as I had many times before like in Seatle, Washington Sign up for TSA Pre check. I had time while standing in the wonderful lines to actually sign up my children and myself for the program. The process was easy, swift and painless. Except for the interview reservation. At the San Francisco International airport the wait was 3 to 4 weeks as well as the office in town. I was only in the States for 3 weeks and had to get the interview done so while in Lake Tahoe, California I drove to Reno, Nevada and tried my (our) luck as a walk-in.
No one was waiting and we were taken care of straight away !!! They did say that we got lucky and that normally they have up to 80 reservations per day – in Reno, Nevada. Just Crazy. For the three of us it took 20 minutes – fingerprints, payment and a laugh or two.
I had two weeks left in my trip and I got the KTN « Known Traveler Number » a few days before getting on the plane. But my kids KTN came 2 months later. I don’t know why and tried to find out but no one knows !!
To benefit from the TSA Pre check they say you must give your number to the travel agent when buying your ticket so that it is on your boarding pass. I had my tickets already so when I dropped of my suitcases I asked the agent to add it and reprint my boarding pass with the reference number.
As I approached the enormous line for security I was confused what to do. The first security lady pointed to another line or shall I say a roped off area with no line. The terrible mother that I am I left my son with the rest of the world for the TSA Pre checkexperience. Well let me tell you FABULOUS FANTASTIC AMAZING (I am MRS APPLE ipad, mac book, apple watch, iphone and big backpack with other goodies.). I put my zipped up backpack on the belt with just my jacket and hop là I was done in thirty seconds. But had to wait for my son for 25 minutes !!
If you travel frequently in and out of the States YOU must look into one of the 4 solutions.
Earlier I wrote that I hadn’t done my homework, TSA Pre check is great – $85 for a fast track through security but it is lacking the Customs and Border Protection possiblity. 180 airports and 19 airline companies participate already in the program and it’s growing everyday.
There are two parts to the wait at incoming airports, the Customs Border Protection and TSA security checks.
TSA Pre check is completely different than Global Entry, one of the benefits of obtaining Global Entry is being able to qualify for TSA Pre check on domestic and international flights. Global Entry allows expedited processing through CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) at airports and land borders upon arrival to the U.S.
With Global Entry you have both, instead of waiting in a long line to see a border control agent, you answer a few questions at a kiosk, scan your fingerprints, show your receipt to an agent and exit the passport control area.
All NEXUS members can enjoy the benefits of Global Entry at no additional cost through using the automated kiosks for entry at participating airports. NEXUS members will need to check their status in their Global Online Enrollment System account, as they may need to submit their 10-fingerprints or any other necessary documentation in order to receive Global Entry benefits. (GOES)
U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident SENTRI members can enjoy the benefits of Global Entry at no additional cost through using the automated kiosks for entry at participating airports. (Global Entry Basic Kiosk Instructions)
SENTRI members will need to check their status in their Global Online Enrollment System GOES account, as they may need to submit their 10-fingerprints or any other necessary documentation in order to receive Global Entry benefits. (GOES)
Mexican national SENTRI members can apply for Global Entry benefits at no additional fee. Mexican nationals will need to submit a Global Entry application and pass a thorough risk assessment conducted by the Mexican government before receiving full Global Entry benefits.
Check out the Comparison Chart
Source : https://www.cbp.gov/travel
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