Kyle and I finally decided to sign up for the Global Entry Program last year. I’ve used it twice so far and it has been completely worth the investment! It has saved so much time and reduced my travel-related stress. (Here’s to looking at you, airport security.) I wanted to share my top 3 reasons to sign up for Global Entry so my fellow travelers can stop worrying about airport security and start enjoying every part of travel.
3 Reasons To Sign Up For Global Entry
1. TSA Pre-Check Is Included
Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check are both Trusted Traveler Programs that allow pre-qualified travelers to go through reduced security screenings. The benefit of Global Entry is that it also includes reduced time going through customs when returning to the U.S. from international travel. The fee for Global Entry is $100 and the fee for TSA Pre-Check is $85. So, we decided the extra $15 was worth it to save time going through customs when we travel internationally. Both Programs expire after 5 years, so you have to pay a new fee and apply for renewal at that time. I’ll write an update about the renewal process when I complete mine in the next few years.
2. Save Time Going Through Airport Security
Global Entry makes going through airport security a breeze. The last time I flew was on my trip to Florida (you can read about my Florida Panhandle trip here!) and it took less than 5 minutes for me to get through security. They also do not require you to remove your jacket, belt, or shoes through the Pre-Check line. Oh, and you can leave items in your bags, such as laptops and small liquids. It’s hassle-free and so much better. Granted, I always get to the airport super early because I freak out about how much time I have before my flight leaves, but that just means that I can spend my time sipping on a drink at the bar instead of standing in the security line.
3. Easy Application & Interview Process
The Global Entry application and interview process were both quick and easy. The first step is to fill out an application through the Global Online Enrollment System. It doesn’t take long, maybe 20 minutes tops. Then they review your application and will notify you once it is approved or denied. I think it only took a week or two for my application to be approved. Once approved, you pick a location and date for your interview. Unfortunately, Knoxville doesn’t currently have an enrollment office, so I traveled to Atlanta for my interview. (Also important to note that dates book up months in advance, so it may be a while before you can get your interview scheduled.) The interview only took about 10 minutes and it was basically to finalize my approval.
So… should you sign up for Global Entry?
If you travel often and are planning to travel internationally, then you should definitely sign up for Global Entry! If you only travel domestically, then you should skip Global Entry and just sign up for TSA Pre-Check. (Also, you should travel internationally because there are so many awesome places to see!)