Thursday, September24, 2020
Well, this turned out to be quite a week! Totally unexpected. This should be a week of leisure because it turned out to be a “found week”. We were expecting to attend a military reunion in Colorado Springs this week. When that cancelled because of the pandemic, we thought it would be a “do nothing” kind of week. But hey, it’s amazing how other things will pop up to fill a void, even in these Covid times!!! So, without getting into the year-long history of this epic tale, let us simply tell you about our interesting experience completing the renewal of our Global Entry membership in the Trusted Traveler Program.
The Global Entry Program is part of the Trusted Traveler Program of U.S. Customs and Border Protection that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon their arrival in the United States. Members, arriving at certain select airports, proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their identification and fingerprints, and complete a customs declaration. They are then cleared to baggage claim and the exit. Now, it is required that all members of the Global Entry Program will undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interviews prior to their acceptance in the program. And then, they must repeat the process every 5 years.
So, our renewal was coming up this year. If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time, you know we strive to be well prepared and try to plan ahead. When the renewal window opened, we submitted the necessary info and made an appointment to complete the process. Ah but then, the pandemic struck. Interview centers were closed due to Covid. All appointments were cancelled. We booked another appointment for a later date; you guessed it—the closures were extended. So, we tried different locations to conduct the interview. And as the closures spread; our appointments were cancelled, and our rebooks fanned further away. But finally, offices re-opened and we managed to snag an appointment at an airport not usually visited by airline passengers: The Treasure Coast International Airport is primarily a business hub, small, compact and unhurried. It’s in Ft. Pierce, FL. Now that’s a bit of a drive for us, but mostly along the Interstate so the traffic moved speedily. Arriving at the airport, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office was easy to find—it’s adjacent to the terminal. Parking was convenient and free. We arrived a little early but were seen quickly. Less than half an hour later, we were both interviewed, fingerprinted, and the renewal was completed. Quick. Efficient. Easy peasy!!!
So, once again, we are ready to travel with efficiency and comfort.
NOW IF WE JUST HAD SOMEPLACE TO GO!!!
3 thoughts on “Trusted Traveler Program–Global Entry”
…………Whew! …………..It worked out! Your very last sentence says it all, though.
Reading now about the different cruise line timetables for getting back to sea. What are you thinking? Can’t quite see cruising, and especially flying, any time soon. Will US ports really be opening? We are just hoping Vancouver will open for the Alaska season.
Have a great weekend!
Hi Patricia, it can be difficult to get up-to-date info on the travel business. We follow thepointsguy.com for their take on what’s happening in the travel world. They put out an emailed, newsletter every morning and their website is often filled with updated info. They are really good at tracking which countries are opening up to travel; what the airlines are doing; and which cruise lines have published covid-mitigation plans as well as when they plan to resume operations. You might want to check it out!!! We are currently looking at a Galapagos Island adventure for Fall 2021 and a long cruise for Winter 2021-22. So much depends on the timing of a vaccine and, perhaps, an effective treatment. Sigh, we’ll see how it goes!!!
I’ll take a look at that website. Thanks.
I am starting to receive a lot of TA emails, cruises “deals” and packages for sailing in April and beyond and a few a bit earlier. Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Panama Canal. Some lines really seem to think they will be back, and sooner than later.
Even HAL is coming up with more emailed advertising of “specials”.
Have a super weekend!