One of the greatest tools a frequent traveler can have is Global Entry.
Not only does it allow you to speed through customs, but your Global Entry number crosses over to the TSA PreCheck program. All you need to do is put your Global Entry number into your PNR under the known traveler number section and you are set!
First, a very funny Global Entry story. I signed my mom up for global entry a few years ago. It was perfect as they offered Thai language services at LAX so she could feel more comfortable completing the in-person interview. She had no problem signing up and being approved.
She first used her Global Entry in New York a few years ago coming back from London. Seems that she’s too short to fit into the camera view! The customs officer didn’t find it too funny, but we sure did!
Picture it, 2011, 5 years ago. Oprah airs the last episode of her syndicated talk show, U.S. special forces kill Osama bin Laden and Prince William and Kate get married. Oh yeah, and I got global entry as well!
Global entry was emerging as a speedy way to get through customs and TSA! It was the best $100 I’ve ever spent. It has more than paid for itself over these past 5 years, but now, my membership is about to expire, in 6 months, it’s time to renew!
Wait, what?! Six months? I’ve got plenty of time. Well, yeah, no, not really. See according to this thread on Reddit, the Global Entry offices are swamped. So bad that SFO is scheduling appointments 24 hours a day!
Seeing this info I knew I had to get on my renewal right away. First thing I did was log into my Global online account.
I completed the renewal application and then paid with my AmEx Platinum card! if you remember from our past post here the AmEx Platinum card will reimburse you for the fee. The reimbursement with AmEx was quick, 2 day turn around!
My application is now under review and I’m waiting to receive approval to move forward with another interview. I’ve got 5 more months before it expires so hopefully I’ll be able to get an appointment at one of their locations in the next 5 months!?!? Is it easier to get an appointment at the DMV than at Global Entry?
Bottom line is that Global Entry saves you time and money and is well worth the investment, especially if you have the AmEx Platinum that will reimburse you for the fees!
Do you have Global Entry? How long did it take for you to get an appointment?