Global Entry and Trusted Traveler Programs
Hey guys... here's the scoop. Global entry applications are happening again after a pandemic hiatus. And, if you've been procrastinating on this way back in early 2020 or 2019, there is more reason than ever to go through this process.
Why Apply for Global Entry?
Holt Travel Service is in a third tier airport community, which means domestic flights keep getting cut here. Which also means if you intrepid travelers are going abroad this summer or fall, you may have tight connections getting back to Evansville. Getting global entry often means you make your connection home. If you already have Global Entry but are up for renewal, start that yesterday. If you are applying for this for the first time, start today. The website to go to is ttp.cbp.dhs.gov. And then select Global Entry.
Global Entry Benefits
TSA Pre Check is only for domestic flights, and for $15 more you have Global Entry and are covered when coming in from overseas destinations. TSA pre check does nothing for you if you are coming in from Europe, etc. The short line you are looking for when you jet back from Paris is part of Global Entry benefits. So, here's the deal... I procrastinated. I have no defense on this. I think that I thought maybe I didn't need it. But. The last pre-pandemic group trip I hosted, we flew into Charlotte from Barcelona. And the ones who had Global Entry made their connections. For the rest of us, not so much.
How to Apply for Global Entry
Ok, then. Let's do this. Here are the brass tacks. You start your application here: ttp.cbp.dhs.gov. And you pay a $100 non-refundable fee, unless you have select credit cards. Capitol One Venture card is one. So is CitiAA advantage and the American Express Platinum card. If you have one of these cards already, use them to pay the fee and then call and request the refund. Go you! If you have another card, check with them! Before you start. See if they will refund.
So, we've entered our credit card info and now... we are answering the questions. This is relatively easy, unless you have been arrested for any reason! Which I was. Arrested for underage drinking in 1987 after my high graduation. The charges were dismissed. Do I put it down or not? Well, I have second guessed my decision a few times, but I put it down. My initial application passed and I was on to scheduling the interview. But! They asked for documentation on how the arrest was resolved! Here in Vanderburgh County, it was not easy to pull up anything concerning this incident, but finally, a microfiche summary was found where it stated that the charges were dismissed.
Global Entry Interview
The other really irritating thing after my initial application status was approved was the list of where they were doing the interviews... Champlain, NY. Warroad, MN. Are you kidding me????? At least Detroit was an option, and so I used points and flew... there. I'm not going to bore you with the guy next to me on the flight from Evansville who said the mask mandate was not a federal mandate but a corporate Delta decision. Or how unfun it is to run through the Atlanta airport in a mask, because to make my global entry interview, I had to connect through Atlanta and it was a very, very tight connection.
Ok, I'm in Detroit. But I had to go by bus outside of the main terminal to some NON DELTA abyss to get to my global entry interview. And there was a teeny office in the shadow of a stairwell where, yes, I did my interview. Here's what they wanted: My passport. My Driver's License. And, that resolution on my arrest!! But, very professional. I was told I was approved and given my number, and told a Global Entry card would arrive in the next ten days, and it did!! So, guess what??? I've got a tight connection coming in from Spain in September. Stay tuned if I make my connection!!
**Do not forget to activate your card after you have received it! You have 30 days to do this. Then your card is good for five years. Happy Traveling!