Global Entry makes it easy

By Kathy Wheale
This item appears on page 12 of the November 2021 issue.

For years, I never considered myself a globetrotter, so I never enrolled in the Global Entry program (, which allows expedited clearance through Customs for preapproved travelers upon arrival in the US. Members can enter using automatic kiosks at select airports.*

I had learned how simple a quick-entry system can be while on a trip to Australia in February 2020. Upon arriving in Sydney, all passengers on the flight were allowed to use the Global Entry kiosks if they wanted to. Some proceeded directly to the Customs line, while some of us opted for the kiosks.

We each slid our passports into a machine (my Australia visa confirmation was stored in my passport chip), touched the screen to answer a few questions and received a receipt to show to security as we left the airport. A piece of cake!

Flash-forward 15 months and I was anxiously anticipating a trip to Lisbon in November 2021, so I googled “Global Entry” and read the application. I discovered that it included the TSA Pre√ (Pre-check) pass and that the $100 fee would apply for five years.

I filled out the application, entering info from my passport plus any previous names I had (in my case, my previously married name), then hit “Send.”

I charged the $100 fee to my Capital One Venture Rewards card and received a notice telling me they would pay the fee and reimburse my charge. What a nice surprise!

Within two days of submitting the application, I received a confirmation of receipt and a list of airports where I could make an appointment to finalize my Global Entry status in person or where I could wait to complete it at Customs upon reentering the US from my next international trip.

Living two hours from the closest airport on the list, in Nashville, I decided to wait and, instead, booked a pre-trip appointment at New York’s JFK Airport on my day of departure, since I would be flying into that airport early in the day for a 9 p.m. departure. (I had the choice of doing the in-person interview in the regular Customs line when I returned to the US in Miami, but that seemed to defeat the purpose!)

I’m looking forward to having Global Entry with Pre√ status. Once folks begin traveling in earnest internationally, the TSA security lines will be delayed by folks having forgotten they can’t carry corkscrews on board (yes, I’m guilty!) or containers 3.4 ounces or bigger of liquids or even of yogurt (it’s a liquid, per the TSA, and I had to throw it in the trash).

Once enrolled, I will get to keep my shoes on in the security lines from now on, too!

Crossville, TN

*Upon returning to the US at any major airport with Global Entry kiosks, travelers approved for Global Entry each proceed to a kiosk, present their machine-readable passport or US permanent resident card, have their fingerprints verified and complete a Customs declaration. The kiosk issues a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.