Flying high in 2017? Then Global Entry and TSA PreCheck is something you need to sit up and listen to. As a frequent flyer, taking the time to invest in Global Entry really is worth it for smooth and painless travel. You might already have it, but here are some things that you might not know, to make sure you optimise what you can do with it.
Become Acquainted with Your KTN
One of the best hacks once you have Global Entry is to make sure that once given your Known Traveler Number you add it to all of your frequent flyer accounts.
Adding this number to all of your accounts will save you a lot of time in the long run. Since the TSA cannot permanently associate your number with every single reservation you make, it is worth taking the time to add it yourself. Inputting this number means that you ensure you will get the Global Entry and PreCheck treatment with every flight you have.
Children and Global Entry
Just as all children need a passport, all children need to be enrolled for Global Entry as well. As a parent, having this does not extend for your children. This means that you will indeed have to pay the registration fee and go to an interview with your child for them to qualify for Global Entry as well, if they do not have this they cannot come into the Global Entry line with you. The interview is mostly a formality, but is necessary, unless you want your partner to go through regular security with your child whilst you breeze through expedited security.
However, if you’re travelling domestically, the TSA PreCheck does extend to children, so you don’t need to do anything extra in this case for them.
The Appointment Backlog
If you have yet to enrol for Global Entry, you might be surprised by how far in advance your interview date is. With so many people interested in getting faster entry when flying, you can expect quite a big wait from the time you apply until you get accepted for an interview and then eventually get given the green light. However, don’t be disheartened for a distant appointment date, keep checking the cancellations on the website. Also, don’t confine yourself to an appointment at your home airport, you can get an appointment in an airport you’re travelling to.
There is really nothing to worry about when it comes to the interview for Global Entry. It is a quick 5-10 minutes verifying the countries you’ve been to, where you work, why you want Global Entry. Mostly the interview is a formality as everything has already been checked out prior to you being invited to interview, therefore don’t sweat this stage too much.
How to get it for free
Don’t be put off by the $100 application fee, this can be waved in a couple of ways. Multiple credit cards will offer free rebates if you sign up with them, or waive the fee if you’re already a cardholder. Similarly, if you hold high status with certain airlines then you can receive a voucher to cover your Global Entry enrolment fee. So, make sure and check what options you have with your loyalty programme or with certain credit card offers before paying the fee.
It isn’t just for US citizens
Global Entry isn’t restricted to just US citizens! Currently it is also available for citizens of Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, South Korea, the UK and Canada (through the NEXUS programme). Each different country has a similar application entry, and can find out the relevant information for their application process here. The UK process is different in that British citizens need to register through the government website first and pay £42, once this has been approved they go through the same process as US citizens through the US government.
Don’t Forget Renewal
If you’ve had Global Entry for a while, you’ll know that after five years you need to renew. The renewal process opens up one year before the expiration on your Global Entry membership. It is well worthwhile making a note of when this will be and applying for renewal as soon as possible. The process for getting an appointment can take a while and you wouldn’t want to leave it to the last minute and have a period of time where you have no Global Entry again. It is not guaranteed you will have to have another interview to be re-approved, but you may, so best to deal with it as soon as you can.
It is well worth getting Global Entry and TSA PreCheck as a frequent flyer to make travelling easier and quicker. Managing your Global Entry, ensuring your KTN is on all of your loyalty accounts and making sure you know which airports participate in the scheme is a breeze when using the Ahoy app. We can help you with any questions in regards to your flights and management of all your travel, find out more on what we can do for you here.