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Reduce Travel Wait Times

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

As attractive as cheap travel deals, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages are, travel sometimes gets frustrating because of having to waste seamless endless time at checkpoint security and immigration lines at airports.

Such waits can often be greatly reduced by becoming a member of a “trusted traveler” program. To apply you will have to submit to a one-time enrollment examination and provide biometric identification. After being accepted you will be able to bypass many of the repetitive travel hassles.

The federal government runs five separate trusted traveler programs for customs and immigration clearance at international gateways and one for Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) security clearance at domestic airports. To be accepted into one of these programs you can apply online, submit a fee, and then go to an enrollment center for an interview. Government issued picture ID, usually a passport, as well as a driver’s license which verifies a member’s permanent address, is needed.

The following is a short explanation of the available expedited security and immigration services:

• Global Entry speeds customs and immigration clearance at airports for trusted travelers returning to America from a foreign country. Upon arriving at a gateway airport, members proceed to a Global Entry kiosk, present their machine readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on a scanner for fingerprint verification and make a customs declaration.

• Nexus expedites two way clearance between the U.S. and Canada at land, sea, and airport border stations. Once enrolled you will be given an ID card which is RFID enabled. Upon presenting this card you will be directed by border agents to express lanes.

• Flux expedites two way clearance at U.S. and Netherlands airports. By enrolling in the Dutch Privium program Flux provides members with access to express lines for border formalities and security screenings at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (one of Europe’s largest airports).

• Smart Entry Service (SES) speeds entry through Korean airport customs and immigration systems. SES members are able to use designated “e-gates” to bypass some immigration lines.

• Sentri expedites two way border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico. Members are given RFID cards as well as stickers for their cars which border guards remotely detect and use to identify members to move them into express lanes.

• TSA PreCheck expedites the security screening process at major U.S. Airports. Benefits include access to dedicated screening lanes and members not having to remove their shoes, light outerwear, belt, or take out their bags of liquids, or laptops from carry-ons during screening. This system is operated through U.S. airlines. Instead of being given an ID card, users notify their airlines of their membership and the airline automatically prints a TSA PreCheck code on boarding passes.

• Clear is a private program that provides faster security screen at seven U.S. airports. Applicants must provide biometrics (a fingerprint or an iris scan) and once accepted, are given membership cards and can pass through Special Clear lanes.

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