Smile #173 – Global Entry Status

Recalled our trip to Denver a few months ago (Smile 141), I was shocked at the airport security line snaking through the massive crowds at 6 am.  We made it to our gate with only a minute to spare.  As we stood in line in slight panic mode, we saw people go through the much shorter line labeled TSA PreCheck.  I have seen the green check mark advertising the TSA PreCheck program for years.  But I had always thought if I showed up early and have the patience to stand in line, I can just pocket the money [for another trip].  Well, this hellish line at 6am changed my mind!

Traveling is my passion and I don’t foresee myself stopping any time soon.  Let’s be fancy and join the expedite lane.  When we returned from our trip, I immediately searched TSA PreCheck.  Apparently US Customs and Borders Protection offers several Trusted Traveler Programs, each customized to different type of travelers.

Trusted-Traveler-Comparison.jpg

I decided to apply for Global Entry based on my travel patterns (domestic and international travels).  The cost is slightly higher, but it includes all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck while also allowing access to expedited CBP Entry kiosks.

Although the application was a quick process, getting an interview is a challenge.  According to a CBP officer, the wait used to be 4-6 weeks, but it grew exponentially when CBP offered TSA PreCheck as an additional incentive.  On average, the wait for an interview is about 4-6 months wait!  Well, no one told me that….

But the wait is finally over!  Because I am now a TRUSTED TRAVELER!  Hello Global Entry Status!  🙂

ge_logo_blackblue

**UPDATE:

I finally get to use the new privilege my special power during my latest trip to Panama.  I got through the TSA PreCheck line within 5 mins and no more taking off shoes and taking laptop for extra check.  I am getting spoiled at the airport!  🙂

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