With a click of the mouse and $100 later, I had applied for Global Entry. Within two weeks I was notified via email that my application had been accepted and I was invited to set up an appointment to have a face to face interview to finalize the process. As I looked over the upcoming four months on the calendar, I tried to find the most convenient time that would work for the appointment since I needed to do it at the MSP airport, or any other Global Entry offices around the USA. Even though my calendar showed I'd be traveling through Charlotte, Ft Lauderdale, Dallas, Miami and Detroit, there were no appointments that were available for me to coordinate with. So, I made a special visit to MSP when I wasn't traveling and made it a special Mother Daughter weekend instead.
The airport was eerily quiet for a Friday, however, that was to my advantage; easy in easy out and what I like to call "rock star parking"!! I was armed with my passport, drivers license and invitation letter. Unbeknownst to me, they were armed with my background check, rap sheet and soon my full set of fingerprints, which by the way, when he did so, complimented me on my large turtle gemstone ring. Some call this Big Brother at its finest, I call it simplicity, and heck, when he notices my jewelry to the positive, he's golden in my opinion. Officer Wille, who was still wet behind the ears, successfully butchered my married name, maiden name and city of residence all while being so dang cute at the same time. He said it didn't matter, what did matter was why I was there. Next came the questions. Simple for me, because I'm 'that girl' who would be labeled as "don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do"; I was going to refer to that song but was positive Officer Wille wouldn't be familiar with such an "oldie". Within five minutes the interview portion was done and the remainder of the appointment would be going over the features and benefits of Global Entry. This is strategically stalling for the computer to tell him whether I was approved or not. Since I was given the green light, he then proceeded to show me how the kiosk worked and and I was off for my weekend of girl time.
So what are the features and benefits of Global Entry? Let me count the ways:
1. Fast Pass Through Customs and Immigrations
Where what has taken me up to THREE HOURS standing in lines upon my return to US soil, other Global Entry card carrying members have sprinted through in under THREE MINUTES! 'Nuff said!
2. Eliminate the Need to Carry a Drivers License
Who likes everyone to see how much you weigh or how tall you are? Wait, you don't really tell the truth on those, do you? My fitness goal is to actually weigh what I told the DMV I do.
3. Qualify for TSA Precheck
Although altogether separate programs, they are like peanut butter and chocolate or Nutella and a spoon! Not only do you qualify for the line where you don't have to disrobe down to nakedness aka: no sparkly jewelry, belts or light jackets, you also can keep your espadrilles on, iPads in the bag and simply toss your iPhone and loose coins into the pastel bowl and walk through the line! Did I mention that there are usually only pilots, crew members and frequent travelers in this line? Therefore, it is a swift pace sans strollers or novice travelers.
Ready to take the plunge? Apply now and let me know how much happier you are upon your return to US soil. No more hang ups, hassles or missed connections!