International Travel Advantage
Air travel continues to have its challenges, as any of you who regularly travel on business can attest to. New fees, delays and cancellations, security checkpoints and more have made air travel sometimes more of a hassle than a convenience. While the travel industry continues to press Congress, the airlines, and the Federal Government to look at more ways to improve the process of air travel, a few programs have been implemented to increase efficiency.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry is one of those programs that has provided some relief to U.S. travelers re-entering the United States from international trips. Global Entry is one of the agency’s Trusted Traveler programs that are specifically aimed at reducing travel hassles for frequent travelers – particularly business travelers.
For those of you who make frequent trips out of the country, Global Entry is a must have tool in your travel arsenal. Once you are a member of the program, you are able to skip the customs line when re-entering the country by simply swiping your Passport, scanning your fingerprints, and making your customs declaration at a kiosk at the airport. Once completed you proceed to baggage claim and the exit.
To become a member of the Global Entry program, applicants submit an online application and pay a $100 fee. From there, you schedule an interview with a CBP official and provide your fingerprints and photo.
While the program is mostly targeted at U.S. citizens at this point, members of other Trusted Traveler programs from Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands, and South Korea can currently apply. So, if you have clients in these countries, tell them all about Global Entry.
To keep up on the latest programs assisting travelers, and to show your support for the travel and tourism industry, I recommend that everyone become a member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Power of Travel Coalition at www.travelcoalition.org.