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European Delivery
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2011, 08:02 PM
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JSpira JSpira is offline
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Global Entry to speed up your travel

Earlier this month I used Global Entry for the first time.

(If you don't know what Global Entry is, a brief explanation is that it's a secure traveler program that allows members returning to the U.S. to bypass traditional passport control and customs control and use a kiosk and special exit respectively).

Ironically, I used this on a business trip to Mexico, my first international non-transatlantic flight in several years.

I was on the fence about getting Global Entry but, when American Express made it free (Amex reimburses the $100 application fee for Plat and Cent), it became a no-brainer.

Most of us here travel more than for the yearly European Delivery and my first time using GE saved me a 25-minute line at ORD. There was no line (and no one) at the GE kiosks.

For those who are interested, details about my trip and about some other Amex benefits are in an article here.

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  #2  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:26 PM
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tsoc88 tsoc88 is offline
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Fully agree with what you are saying, particularly when a Plat card makes it free.
Will be using it for the first time when I return from my ED in July and look forward to
no lines and quick exit. Only wish they had it when entering Heathrow.
Also would recommend Priority Pass, another AMX benefit, though not exclusivey theirs.
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:50 PM
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2011, 03:36 PM
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Hey Jonathan - Where did you stay in Baja? Just took the fam there is March and had an awesome time at the Hilton. It was after I got back that I got the email from Amex re: no foreign transaction fees.

Also, how was the "interview" process for Global Entry? The only thing holding me back is that the nearest interview site is about 2.5 hours away from me.
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2011, 05:48 PM
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I have my interview tomorrow.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:06 AM
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Clearly free makes it better, but for $100 for 5 years, if you travel internationally at all (at least flying back to US) it makes great sense. After a 8-12 hour flight, how great is it not to have to stand in line and deal with a surly CBP agent? I used it (again) this weekend and at Dulles airport went from the entry to the customs hall to the taxi in less than 5 minutes. Would have been shorter if they hadn't changed the exit location since the last time I was there, leading me to go the wrong direction for a few seconds.
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2011, 06:29 AM
Thad Thad is offline
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How long is the process to get Global Entry

For those of you that have done the Global Entry application processs recently, how long from the time you filled out the online app to the time to schedule and interview? After the interview, how long to get the card and be able to use the process?

Thanks,

Thad
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2011, 10:58 AM
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Here's what the Global Entry site says: 8 Weeks, though I can attest it can be shorter.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:21 PM
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JSpira JSpira is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad View Post
For those of you that have done the Global Entry application processs recently, how long from the time you filled out the online app to the time to schedule and interview? After the interview, how long to get the card and be able to use the process?

Thanks,

Thad
It was 2 weeks but it would have been less had I been available earlier.
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Freude am Fahren.
-Jonathan





F10 2014 535d M Sport Mondstein Metallic
F10 2012 ActiveHybrid 5 Azuritschwarz Metallic
MB 2011 E350 BlueTec
E70 2011 X5 xDrive35d*
E90 2010 335d*
E60 2008 550i*

E90 2006 330xi*
E90 2006 325i
E90 2006 330xi*
E39 2003 530i*
E46 2000 328Ci*
E36 1996 328iS*
E36 1992 325i*
E30 1991 318is*
E21 1982 320iS*
E21 1979 320 (6-Zyl)*
*retired
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2011, 01:36 PM
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JSpira JSpira is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cha777 View Post
Hey Jonathan - Where did you stay in Baja? Just took the fam there is March and had an awesome time at the Hilton. It was after I got back that I got the email from Amex re: no foreign transaction fees.
I was at Las Ventanas al Paraiso and it was an incredible hotel/resort. Highly recommended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cha777 View Post

Also, how was the "interview" process for Global Entry? The only thing holding me back is that the nearest interview site is about 2.5 hours away from me.
It wasn't even an interview. It was more a confirmation of some information (I think I left my middle initial off the app) and a demonstration of how to use the system. I was very impressed by the officers running the operation - very customer service focused. I was done in under 10 minutes.
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Freude am Fahren.
-Jonathan





F10 2014 535d M Sport Mondstein Metallic
F10 2012 ActiveHybrid 5 Azuritschwarz Metallic
MB 2011 E350 BlueTec
E70 2011 X5 xDrive35d*
E90 2010 335d*
E60 2008 550i*

E90 2006 330xi*
E90 2006 325i
E90 2006 330xi*
E39 2003 530i*
E46 2000 328Ci*
E36 1996 328iS*
E36 1992 325i*
E30 1991 318is*
E21 1982 320iS*
E21 1979 320 (6-Zyl)*
*retired
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2011, 03:15 PM
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Gig103 Gig103 is offline
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Jonathan, your recent posts have me considering an Amex Platinum, despite the combined annual fee of $625 for my wife and I. I already have a Capital One card that helps me avoid foreign transaction fees, but the $200/pp airline reimbursement and the access to private clubs, are very nice.

How do the Platinum travel airline costs compare to what's available online? For example, Lufthansa offers free companion tickets for ED customers but I found booking two non-refundable ticket with US Airways cheaper.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2011, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
...How do the Platinum travel airline costs compare to what's available online? For example, Lufthansa offers free companion tickets for ED customers but I found booking two non-refundable ticket with US Airways cheaper.
I'm not Jonathan, but I do use PTS. Here is my experience on LH: The deal from SFO to MUC is for two business or first class tix for the price of one. I regularly use the business class deal. There are times when there are specials that are in fact lower priced than one-half the LH full-fare price. But not on LH, which matters to me as LH is the only one flying non-stop on that route. If I were willing to go via Frankfurt, I could do a bit better some of the time.

(There are also tax implications as many of my trips are for business/research. I won't go into the details here, but send me a PM if you want to know more.)

Finally, two additional thoughts: (i) I use the "Fine Hotels" upgrades a lot, both in Europe and in the US. (ii) I save a few $$ by getting a Gold Card for my wife tied to the account rather than a second Platinum card. I may re-think that approach with Global Entry.
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Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2011, 06:20 AM
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Tanning machine Tanning machine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad View Post
For those of you that have done the Global Entry application processs recently, how long from the time you filled out the online app to the time to schedule and interview? After the interview, how long to get the card and be able to use the process?

Thanks,

Thad
It's instant when you have the interview--basically you're cleared at that point and the "interview" is to confirm your identity, take a scan of your fingerprints, show you how the machine works, warn you (again) about transgressions, and put a sticker in your passport(s) to show that you're in the program. You could do the interview on your day of departure if you wanted (and could schedule it).

As for how long before, times appear to have gotten shorter, but mine took 3-4 weeks. It all depends, and may have to do with how much digging they need to do (not sure what they search for but I can imagine a need to get info back from some state law enforcement agencies).
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2011, 10:59 PM
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I just filled out the application. Then, it just hit me that I won't be able to use it on family trip:

Q: Are children able to enroll in Global Entry?
A: A: Children may enroll in Global Entry if they are at least 14 years of age.

Oh well...
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2011, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayoucity View Post
I just filled out the application. Then, it just hit me that I won't be able to use it on family trip:

Q: Are children able to enroll in Global Entry?
A: A: Children may enroll in Global Entry if they are at least 14 years of age.

Oh well...
There is mixed evidence as to whether you may be able to escort your child to the front of the line under the program.

flyertalk.com has a length thread on global entry.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...orthwhile.html
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  #16  
Old 06-02-2011, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsoc88 View Post
Fully agree with what you are saying, particularly when a Plat card makes it free.
Will be using it for the first time when I return from my ED in July and look forward to
no lines and quick exit. Only wish they had it when entering Heathrow.
Also would recommend Priority Pass, another AMX benefit, though not exclusivey theirs.

Well there is a program for the UK called IRIS that I use and its free. You just need to demonstrate a certain number of annual trips to the UK to qualify. I think it is an even better system the Global Entry from a technical and speed standpoint.

You register for it in the departure hall of certain international terminals in the UK (though the offices are a little tucked away). No pre-application process, just walk up and if you qualify you (if my experience is normal) are out in 10 minutes.
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2011, 08:56 AM
FastMarkA FastMarkA is offline
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Last year I had a client in Toronto and I was going there on a weekly basis from March through September.

It took a while to get the interview scheduled (about a month after my application), but it was great because the pre-clearance line at YYZ was typically an hour long from about 4pm-6pm (when business travelers are flying home).

I use it when I arrive at USA ports, but in general it seems the US Citizen line is usually quite empty. On Tuesday I flew FRA-ORD, and when I got to the immigration line, there was nobody in it and about 7-8 agents were idle. It helped I was one of the first ones off the plane, though.
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  #18  
Old 06-02-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastMarkA View Post
Last year I had a client in Toronto and I was going there on a weekly basis from March through September.

It took a while to get the interview scheduled (about a month after my application), but it was great because the pre-clearance line at YYZ was typically an hour long from about 4pm-6pm (when business travelers are flying home).

I use it when I arrive at USA ports, but in general it seems the US Citizen line is usually quite empty. On Tuesday I flew FRA-ORD, and when I got to the immigration line, there was nobody in it and about 7-8 agents were idle. It helped I was one of the first ones off the plane, though.
I looked at the GE website but didn't see anything about being able to use GE at the Canadian pre-clearance locations. Were you able to use GE at YYZ?
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Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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  #19  
Old 06-02-2011, 02:29 PM
Thad Thad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-y View Post
I looked at the GE website but didn't see anything about being able to use GE at the Canadian pre-clearance locations. Were you able to use GE at YYZ?
Hmmm. I know that NEXUS exists for us folks that go to Canada frequently and that there are NEXUS machines at the airports. I don't know if you can use GE at the NEXUS machines. However I do know that they recently changed it so that you can use NEXUS at GE (assuming certain things with you file are in order).
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