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TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. CLEAR: Cost and benefits of each

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Finally!!!  After being in the “Pending Review” black hole for our GE renewal for 149 days we got Conditional Approval this morning.  We were hoping to go straight to Approved but getting Conditional Approval means we will have to go to an interview.   Luckily I was able to schedule two back-to-back interviews for November 8 at San Antonio International Airport (SAT).  SAT is only 9 miles from our house so a pretty simple short trip.   I don’t expect any problems with the interviews and don’t make anything of the fact we didn’t get direct Approval.   I suppose if there are any questions they might be about our visits to Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and the UAE in 2017.  Easy to explain as those were stops as part of a cruise and typically CBP has not been too concerned about that.   Anyhow,  be warned.  Initial GE applications and renewals can take months.  Yes, a few lucky folks are getting conditional or full approvals in days but it seems the majority are falling into the long five month plus wait.    

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1 hour ago, Randyk47 said:

Finally!!!  After being in the “Pending Review” black hole for our GE renewal for 149 days we got Conditional Approval this morning.  We were hoping to go straight to Approved but getting Conditional Approval means we will have to go to an interview.   Luckily I was able to schedule two back-to-back interviews for November 8 at San Antonio International Airport (SAT).  SAT is only 9 miles from our house so a pretty simple short trip.   I don’t expect any problems with the interviews and don’t make anything of the fact we didn’t get direct Approval.   I suppose if there are any questions they might be about our visits to Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and the UAE in 2017.  Easy to explain as those were stops as part of a cruise and typically CBP has not been too concerned about that.   Anyhow,  be warned.  Initial GE applications and renewals can take months.  Yes, a few lucky folks are getting conditional or full approvals in days but it seems the majority are falling into the long five month plus wait.    

 

Wow! That's way too long. It could be that those ports raised a flag, but even so you were kept waiting a ridiculously long time.

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We applied for GE in mid September....our interview in Tampa is in February!

 

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2 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Wow! That's way too long. It could be that those ports raised a flag, but even so you were kept waiting a ridiculously long time.


Unfortunately the long delay seems to be the norm right now.  A small percentage are applying for new GE enrollment or renewal and are getting it in less than a week.  The majority get stuck in long haul which right now is running four months.   Over on a frequent flyer forum there are literally hundreds of posts trying make sense of the delay but there doesn’t seem to be a set of conditions that fit.  Some in the long haul have a lot of International travel some not at all.   Some like my wife have an advanced government clearance and under fairly constant watch and still get stuck.   The big apparent issue is GE is now five years old and all the original enrollees are trying to renew and the system is swamped.  

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It took about a month to get my GE interview here in Tucson only to find out that I no longer have fingerprints so even though I have GE, I still have to go an agent to be properly identified. 

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11 hours ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

It took about a month to get my GE interview here in Tucson only to find out that I no longer have fingerprints so even though I have GE, I still have to go an agent to be properly identified. 


Unfortunately there are some people who don’t have distinct fingerprints.  I’m close to being in that boat and make sure I hydrate my hands with lotion before I have my fingerprints taken or have to use a GE kiosk.    I think I read they are experimenting with facial recognition software and technology but I have no idea if and when they might use that with GE.    Supposedly they are presently trying facial recognition at Orlando International Airport (MCO) Immigration and Customs and it bypasses the need for fingerprints.   

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I finally read the article and I already do TSA PRE When I go trough an international airport in a foreign country, it is either Vancouver or Dublin.  I am considering Global based on this article.  Thank you for posting it.

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26 minutes ago, Himself said:

I finally read the article and I already do TSA PRE When I go trough an international airport in a foreign country, it is either Vancouver or Dublin.  I am considering Global based on this article.  Thank you for posting it.


If you travel Internationally then I’d recommend GE.   GE, which includes TSA PreCheck as an additional benefit, is only $15 more than just PreCheck.  Over the four years we’ve had GE we’ve used it six times.  Our first reentry with GE was Philadelphia International and our plane arrived with four other incoming international flights.   There were several hundred people in the regular Immigration and Customs lines and maybe two dozen in the GE line.  We were through in 10 or fewer minutes.  That one trip allow was worth the extra $15 and we’ve had five more reentries since then.   

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4 hours ago, Randyk47 said:


Unfortunately there are some people who don’t have distinct fingerprints.  I’m close to being in that boat and make sure I hydrate my hands with lotion before I have my fingerprints taken or have to use a GE kiosk.    I think I read they are experimenting with facial recognition software and technology but I have no idea if and when they might use that with GE.    Supposedly they are presently trying facial recognition at Orlando International Airport (MCO) Immigration and Customs and it bypasses the need for fingerprints.   

 

Thanks for the tip about hand lotion. They had no problem getting my fingerprints at the interview, but l have had trouble with the scanner my pool uses for entry. Obviously, the single-finger one they're using isn't as good as what the government is using, but I do sometimes joke that I should take up a life of crime because I wouldn't leave clear fingerprints. 

 

I had cut a finger a day or two before my interview and I had a band-aid on that finger. I offered to take it off, but she took my prints with it on. So my official reference set is only 9 fingers. 

 

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We enrolled in GE four plus years ago and just a week or so ago started the renewal process.   Love it, especially love it with our International travel of the past few years and it’s only $15 more than TSA PreCheck alone.  Like Cat Shepard one trip through in our case PHL more than made it worthwhile though we’ve had four or five other equally easy reentries.   Luckily San Antonio International Airport, 9 miles from our house,  has a GE enrollment interview office.   Some people are reporting they’re getting renewed without an interview so we’ll see if we get lucky.   

Ours is up next year...do you have to go to the airport where you originally got cleared or can you do it online?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, cabinluvn said:


Ours is up next year...do you have to go to the airport where you originally got cleared or can you do it online?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


You apply for your renewal on line through the Trusted Traveler Program. https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/    If you are within in a year of expiration I’d go ahead and apply for renewal soon.  They are warning the waiting time for renewal will continue to get longer and are saying now to expect up to five months.  After you renew you may or may not have to go for another interview.  We’re going to our original airport but could go to any GE enrollment office.   

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My recent Nexus renewal through the Trusted Traveler Program took less than two weeks, with no interview required.

 

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1 hour ago, daisy-mae said:

My recent Nexus renewal through the Trusted Traveler Program took less than two weeks, with no interview required.

 


That is the confusing nature of the ongoing renewals and new enrollments.  A few are breezing through with no issue or hassle some get caught in the long haul.   Seems to be the same for NEXUS and GE.   As I said earlier there are all sorts of theories and could-it-be scenarios but no fixed set of conditions that seem to indicate which route an approval will take.   My recommendation stands, apply for renewal as soon as you are one year from expiration and therefore eligible to renew.   

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7 hours ago, Himself said:

I finally read the article and I already do TSA PRE When I go trough an international airport in a foreign country, it is either Vancouver or Dublin.  I am considering Global based on this article.  Thank you for posting it.

 

Both Vancouver and Dublin are Pre-Clearance Centers wherein you clear Customs & Immigration prior to arrival in the US.  Only the 15 pre-clearance centers listed will get you TSA-Pre in an international airport.

 

 

11 hours ago, Randyk47 said:


Unfortunately there are some people who don’t have distinct fingerprints.  I’m close to being in that boat and make sure I hydrate my hands with lotion before I have my fingerprints taken or have to use a GE kiosk.    I think I read they are experimenting with facial recognition software and technology but I have no idea if and when they might use that with GE.    Supposedly they are presently trying facial recognition at Orlando International Airport (MCO) Immigration and Customs and it bypasses the need for fingerprints.   

 

I got to try facial recognition for the first time, this month, when I landed at Manchester Airport (twice).  It was awesome.  Took about 10 minutes to get through the ePassport kiosk and out the door, along with about 500 other people using it.  When it’s implemented in North America it may very well make GE moot.

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13 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

I got to try facial recognition for the first time, this month, when I landed at Manchester Airport (twice).  It was awesome.  Took about 10 minutes to get through the ePassport kiosk and out the door, along with about 500 other people using it.  When it’s implemented in North America it may very well make GE moot.


Apparently the test/implementation of facial recognition is broader than I thought.  Found this article on a CBP website.

 

CBP is leading the transformation of the travel experience, but we could never do this alone. Our airline industry and technology partners are playing a critical role. To date, CBP has demonstrated the facial matching service at ports from Virginia to Vegas to Miami. Our pilot programs with Delta, Jet Blue, British Airways, and partnerships with Royal Caribbean and others have opened doors and eyes to a range of possibilities. Collectively, CBP and our partners are making history and delivering clear and undeniable benefits to travelers.

Air Entry:

  • Abu Dhabi Preclearance (AUH)
  • Aruba Preclearance (AUA)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Dublin Preclearance (DUB)
  • Dulles (IAD)
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • John F Kennedy (JFK)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles/Tom Bradley (TBIT)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Shannon Preclearance (SNN)

Air Exit

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Houston Hobby (HOU)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  • New Jersey (EWR)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Tampa (TPA)
  • Washington Dulles (IAD)
  • Washington Reagan (DCA)

Sea Entry:

  • Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal, Bayonne, NJ
  • Pier 88, New York City, NY
  • Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Port Miami, Miami, FL
  • Port Canaveral, FL
  • Pier 66, Seattle, WA

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Randyk47 said:

Apparently the test/implementation of facial recognition is broader than I thought.  Found this article on a CBP website.

 

I saw they had it in ATL on Friday, as that was our connection airport to IAD.  But, of course, we used GE.  I should have taken more note of it but the setup was nothing like they had at MAN.  At MAN they had the snaky line to rows of kiosks with plexi doors.  You stood in the kiosk, place your passport like you do with GE, look at the facial recognition window, and then the doors open to let you through.  And you’re done.  There would be one person in the kiosk and then next person would stand at the yellow line behind them till they cleared.  It was literally a few seconds from stepping inside until the doors opened. 

 

In ATL I didn’t see that setup.  It was scattered kiosks the same as the GE kiosks so there was less order.

 

Oh wait.  Come to think of it.... I did use those facial recognition kiosks in ATL one time when traveling with my daughter.  She doesn’t have GE so I went with her to the regular ePassport kiosks.  Of course, because I have GE it rejected me and it sent me to a Passport Control Officer.  He asked me why I didn’t use GE and I said “So I wouldn’t be separated from my daughter.”  Obviously that was a big fail because she was long gone.  😂

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The Nexus machines at our airports in Canada use iris scanners. The last time we returned home via Toronto, all but one or two of the machines were out of order. Fortunately there were only a few Nexus card holders on our flight, so the wait was short. It would be nice if the technology were more dependable, though.

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16 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

I got to try facial recognition for the first time, this month, when I landed at Manchester Airport (twice).  It was awesome.  Took about 10 minutes to get through the ePassport kiosk and out the door, along with about 500 other people using it.  When it’s implemented in North America it may very well make GE moot.


Apparently the test/implementation of facial recognition is broader than I thought.  Found this article on a CBP website.

 

CBP is leading the transformation of the travel experience, but we could never do this alone. Our airline industry and technology partners are playing a critical role. To date, CBP has demonstrated the facial matching service at ports from Virginia to Vegas to Miami. Our pilot programs with Delta, Jet Blue, British Airways, and partnerships with Royal Caribbean and others have opened doors and eyes to a range of possibilities. Collectively, CBP and our partners are making history and delivering clear and undeniable benefits to travelers.

Air Entry:

  • Abu Dhabi Preclearance (AUH)
  • Aruba Preclearance (AUA)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Dublin Preclearance (DUB)
  • Dulles (IAD)
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • John F Kennedy (JFK)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles/Tom Bradley (TBIT)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Shannon Preclearance (SNN)

Air Exit

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Houston Hobby (HOU)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  • New Jersey (EWR)
  • New York (JFK)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Jose (SJC)
  • Seattle (SEA)
  • Tampa (TPA)
  • Washington Dulles (IAD)
  • Washington Reagan (DCA)

Sea Entry:

  • Cape Liberty Cruise Terminal, Bayonne, NJ
  • Pier 88, New York City, NY
  • Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Port Miami, Miami, FL
  • Port Canaveral, FL
  • Pier 66, Seattle, WA

What I saw in the CBP article was that they are working with Royal Caribbean.   I recall a couple of years ago Royal Caribbean, the Port Authority, and CBP had reached an agreement to install kiosks in the Royal Caribbean terminal as a test.  Made sense as that terminal services the mega ships.  This article would suggest there’s still some test ongoing or they’ve permanently installed kiosks and maybe even facial recognition ones.  When we came through Terminal 19 there were no kiosks but there was a GE lane though it wasn’t operating.   We were on the Silver Wind with only 270 +/- passengers, some who were staying on for the  next cruise which a TATL repositioning to the Med, so virtually no lines and easy to get through Customs and Immigration.  

 

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We travel internationally about twice a year and have not applied for GE.  However, when we return to SEA from an overseas flight, the process seems to be just like the description of GE.  We go to a kiosk, enter our passport and our finger for a fingerprint and a camera compares our face to the passport picture.  I wonder if Global Entry will go by the wayside and this technology will take its place?

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31 minutes ago, USN59-79 said:

We travel internationally about twice a year and have not applied for GE.  However, when we return to SEA from an overseas flight, the process seems to be just like the description of GE.  We go to a kiosk, enter our passport and our finger for a fingerprint and a camera compares our face to the passport picture.  I wonder if Global Entry will go by the wayside and this technology will take its place?


It very well could.  Of course if you want it you’d still have to enroll in PreCheck which right now is $85 for five years.  TSA keeps warning that they and the airlines are cutting back on free inclusion though it still seems to be happening for first/business class passengers and high status frequent flyers.   

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Our GE renewal is finally finished!  Went to our interviews and the CBP agent couldn’t have been any more pleasant and efficient.  When we arrived there wasn’t anybody else waiting.  The agent said we must be the K’s and he took us together.   He said he didn’t know why we’d been required to reinterview.  No changes to employment, address, no Immigration and Customs violations, and certainly not even a parking ticket between us.   We were in and out of there in 10 minutes total and received our full approval emails within 30 minutes.  We still will have to wait for new GE cards but those typically only take 7 to 10 days.  A five and a half month long grind since we applied for renewal.  Thank goodness we’re good to go until early 2025.   

Edited by Randyk47

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Great news, Randy!  I’m going to start the process to renew my NEXUS pass next week.  Hopefully, this time I don’t have to re-interview.  I always get the mean ones.  Hoping that the third time’s the charm!

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7 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

Great news, Randy!  I’m going to start the process to renew my NEXUS pass next week.  Hopefully, this time I don’t have to re-interview.  I always get the mean ones.  Hoping that the third time’s the charm!


Does NEXUS require the dual interviews for renewals?  

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