• Rita M. Perez

Traveler, are you ready to improve your experience?

When we're ready to get back on travel mode--are you already dreading the thought of the TSA security lines? Actually, those would probably be welcome now lol! Same with the long waits in US Customs lines. While I'm sure we'd all rather at least be waiting in those lines right now, getting the Global Entry process started now, will hopefully help you shed that wait time in your future travels. I've been enrolled for a few years now, and was amazed at how simple and efficient the process was. Now, whenever I travel by air, I can use the TSA PreCheck lines at security (because Global Entry also includes pre-check--woot!) which moves so much quicker because you are not required to take off all the bulk; shoes can even stay where they belong! You don't need to remove your anything from your carry-on luggage, either (though on a rare occasion, the officers may still ask you to do so). Additionally, if I am traveling internationally, I can bypass the long lines at Passport Control upon my return to the U.S. and simply scan my passport at a Global Entry kiosk. When I am cleared, a receipt prints and I can simply flash it to an immigration officer as I walk briskly to claim my luggage and head home. The application process is very easy and fast. I filled out the online application, paid the $100 fee (good for 5 years and reimbursed by some high-level credit cards), and within a few days, I received an email telling me I was approved and invited to set up an appointment at the closest participating airport. I did have to wait about 3-4 weeks for a convenient appointment time in Orlando. Now for you locals, I personally chose to have my interview at the Sanford airport because it is so much smaller (aka faster to move through) compared to MCO. On the day of the appointment, you take your Passport, Driver’s License, and approval letter to the Global Entry office and have a 10-minute interview with an agent. He asked me a few questions, fingerprinted me, and then told me that I was approved. I received my official card in the mail within a week or so. They not only made the travel process easier, but the application process as close to flawless. I have used my new "status" a many times now and the perks have been amazing! You'll want to make sure everyone in your travel group is enrolled in Global Entry to avoid having to wait for them on the other side of the line. Of course, it is also fun to go nanny nanny boo boo as you're watching them wait in the horrendous line.

So, are you ready to simplify YOUR life and become a member of the Global Entry elite? The link to get started is here: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply. Happy Travels, Rita

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