Wow!  I can't believe what just happened at Newark Airport.  After getting off the plane, I gasped when I saw the line of hundreds of weary travelers.  They were waiting their turn to be seen by the Customs and Immigration agents.  Then I remembered...I have Global Entry which is a program for pre-approved low-risk travelers.  I entered the line for Global Entry members, went up to the kiosk, scanned my passport, looked into the camera, and pressed my fingers on the glass so my fingerprints could be submitted.  I checked a few boxes on the screen and took the printed receipt.  The whole thing took about 90 seconds.  It might actually just take 60 seconds but I was reading everything slowly and carefully because it was my first time.

My sister and nephew finished quickly at their kiosks too.  When we were all done we looked at each other in disbelief.  That's it? We're done? We don't have to spend at least an hour standing in that line after traveling all day?

That was money well-spent, we thought.  Actually some credit card companies will reimburse the $100 fee to join Global Entry so you might want to see if that's one of the perks of your card.

The only hassle involved with applying, in my opinion, was that I had to go to the airport last month for a short interview.  Since it's a bit of a schlep to get to Newark or Philadelphia International, it will take you more time to travel to your interview than the actual interview.  My advice?  Try to schedule your appointment for a time when you'll be going to either airport to pick someone up or drop someone off.  Two birds with one stone, you know?

Global Entry is valid for 5 years and includes TSA PreCheck which can make going through the Security check a bit easier.   Think of it as a $20 per year investment to ease some of the stress of traveling.

Do you think it's worth it to have TSA PreCheck and/or Global Entry?  How much time do you think you've saved by using the GE kiosks rather than standing in line?



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