I literally scream this as I run towards the screening agent at the exit of customs (internally of course cause.. I’m not that crazy) If you ever get the chance to witness it, it’s more of a smirk and a skip as I saunter past the people in line towards FREEDOM!!
I have discovered one of travels greatest gifts. The ‘Mobile Passport App’ aka the poor man’s Global Entry.
For those of you who are unaware. Entering back into the country requires a stop through customs. Customs comes with a line out of this world. Normally you turn a corner and are met with hundreds of people in a slow moving line waiting to get in front of a kiosk to take their picture, answer a few questions about not being a smuggler or what not and then get into the next line of a few hundred people so that an agent can check your passport, make sure you didn’t admit to being a smuggler and what not and then allow you clearance back into America.
Usually, the only way to prevent this post travel headache is by purchasing Global Entry. This is a separate program than TSA Pre?. TSA Pre? provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports. Global Entry provides the TSA Pre? benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. TSA Pre? costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership.
Now that we’ve gotten the official business out the way let’s get back to FREE!! The app is simple. You download it (obvi), take a picture of your face and scan your passport. When you land back here in the U.S. (this is for US travelers) open it and simply click through the answers. The app creates a QR code (one of those black and white squares) and BAM!! DAS IT!!
You will hear many announcements stating that you MAY NOT have your phone out in customs. Disregard this. Seriously it’s cool. Trust me. Trust me! As you walk through customs do NOT follow the long line of people w sad, this is gonna take forever faces. Stay to the side. Keep your phone opened and positioned so that customs agents can see the screen. They will direct you past EVERYBODY AND EVERYTHING!! I am getting chill bumps writing this! It’s such a great feeling!
YOU CAN SKIP THEM ALLLL!!
Welcome to America, Americans with ease!