For most who travel internationally, re-entry into your home country airport can be challenging. Long lines, fatigue and less-than-happy people can all contribute towards a cumbersome immigration and customs process. And if you have a close connection to catch a flight, stress and anxiety are quick to follow.
Many of my colleagues, including myself, have invested in the Global Entry Program. This program costs $100 and allows you to fast-track the TSA process as well as re-entry into the United States. For Denver, where the IDEAS office is located, the process time is over six months from application to approval, which can be a long wait.
So, what do you do in the meantime? Or what do you do if you only travel outside of the U.S. occasionally and do not want to apply to Global Entry?
You download Mobile Passport.
Mobile Passport is an app that can be used on iPhone or Android phones and is free to download. The app was developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and can be used to speed you through immigration and customs in 21 U.S. airports and 1 port. It is quick and easy. Just fill out your profile and answer Custom and Border Patrol’s questions – then go straight to the “Mobile Passport Control” express lane at the airport!
Recently, my colleague and I returned to the U.S. from a trip to visit IDEAS projects. She had Mobile Passport and I had Global Entry. We finished five minutes apart from each other and we were both very impressed with how simple it was for her. I made a note to download the app just in case Global Entry lanes are long or if they are closed.
I am always looking for ways that can make my travel more effective and efficient and Mobile Passport is one of the best tools I have seen. Mobile Passport is making re-entry a breeze for seasoned travelers and occasional jet-setters alike.
What are some of your favorite travel tools that make your trips more pleasant?