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

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5 hours ago, Randyk47 said:


Does NEXUS require the dual interviews for renewals?  

 

If I recall correctly I only had to interview with the US CBP last renewal.  

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My DH and I both renewed our Nexus membership recently. Neither one of us was called for an interview, and our new cards arrived within a few weeks.

 

According to the information that was enclosed, Nexus iris scanners are about to be replaced by facial recognition technology.

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Interestingly is the less expensive of the Trusted Traveler Programs but relatively harder to get as at least it requires both a US and Canadian interview for initial approval.  No doubt if I still lived in the Seattle-Tacoma area I’d go with NEXUS as I used to enjoy trips to Vancouver or Victoria back in the day.  Back then all you needed was a driver’s license.   My chances of a US-Canadian border crossing now I live in Texas are slim to none and we have no interest in Alaskan cruises.

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9 hours ago, daisy-mae said:

My DH and I both renewed our Nexus membership recently. Neither one of us was called for an interview, and our new cards arrived within a few weeks.

 

According to the information that was enclosed, Nexus iris scanners are about to be replaced by facial recognition technology.


Really no rhyme or reason why Mrs K and I had to go for reinterview for our GE.  Even the agent was a bit miffed as in his own words we were “routine renewals”.   I had wondered if our visits to Egypt, Jordon, Oman, and UAE might have raised a flag but the agent kind of waived those off as actually not all that unusual or noteworthy.   I still wonder though.  The other issue is they have gone to more and more biometrics like facial recognition and our pictures may not have been good enough. 

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45 minutes ago, rucrazy said:

Opinions please, What is the general consensus of the mobile passport app?


We had GE by the time the mobile passport app became available so never saw the need to try it.   We really wanted TSA PreCheck but felt for extra $15, and knowing we had three or four international trips planned, GE was well worth it.   You don’t get PreCheck with the mobile app.

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1 hour ago, Randyk47 said:


We had GE by the time the mobile passport app became available so never saw the need to try it.   We really wanted TSA PreCheck but felt for extra $15, and knowing we had three or four international trips planned, GE was well worth it.   You don’t get PreCheck with the mobile app.

 

I was able to use the passport app once at Port Everglades, and then the next year they said they weren't using it. Other posters around the time I couldn't use the app said they could use it. So it's all about how Customs and Immigration decide to staff the terminal on any given day. 

 

Now that I have GE I'm hoping not to have to stand in line for an hour at Port Everglades. 

 

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3 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I was able to use the passport app once at Port Everglades, and then the next year they said they weren't using it. Other posters around the time I couldn't use the app said they could use it. So it's all about how Customs and Immigration decide to staff the terminal on any given day. 

 

Now that I have GE I'm hoping not to have to stand in line for an hour at Port Everglades. 

 


There are some recent postings that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ALT) has discontinued the mobile passport app.   As I said I have never used it so can’t personally confirm the reports.  There is also some thought that the mobile passport app may be replaced by  facial recognition software.   

Edited by Randyk47

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My husband applied for GE renewal on Oct. 12.  We are still waiting and he finally got through to a live person yesterday.  He was told renewal can take up to 6 months, and the backlog is such that they are honoring expired cards for up to a YEAR. His card expires in March, and we will be sailing at that time, completing a multi-country voyage.  I hope they don't give him any grief on our return.

 

I guess I should file my renewal right after the holidays, since my GE expires in August.  Maybe they need to budget a few more people for the renewal program office.

 

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43 minutes ago, Nanner said:

My husband applied for GE renewal on Oct. 12.  We are still waiting and he finally got through to a live person yesterday.  He was told renewal can take up to 6 months, and the backlog is such that they are honoring expired cards for up to a YEAR. His card expires in March, and we will be sailing at that time, completing a multi-country voyage.  I hope they don't give him any grief on our return.

 

I guess I should file my renewal right after the holidays, since my GE expires in August.  Maybe they need to budget a few more people for the renewal program office.

 


Sounds like your husband is in for the long haul renewal wait.   Based on reports on a frequent flyer forum people who for whatever reason don’t get approved within a week or so can expect to wait five to six months.  On the same forum people who have applied for renewal and are now past their expiration date are not reporting any issues using the GE kiosk.  There are some reports that TSA security checkpoint personnel are rejecting the use of an expired GE card as valid ID.  Luckily you don’t need the GE card to use the GE kiosk.   

Edited by Randyk47

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On 6/15/2019 at 4:25 PM, OHCruiser said:

We travel internationally about twice a year, nationally about 10 times per year.  We used CLEAR on a free promo.  The only benefit we saw was in very busy airports [ATL] you went to the front of the TSA PreCheck line.  We thought it was too expensive since we live in CLE and the precheck line is never that busy.

As for Global Entry, I doubt that I'd want to pay for it, given that we enrolled in Mobile Passport [app] and cleared customs without paperwork in Newark in about 2 minutes flat.

We love having TSA PreCheck.  It suits us perfectly.


if you travel frequently to the larger domestic airports CLEAR is the the way to go.  It adds consistency to your travel schedule.  Airports like BWI, Dulles, MCO, JFK, etc. can have long snaking security lines, especially in the summer and close to holidays.  CLEAR gets you to the front of the line.  You still require GE and should register with the participating airlines to insure precheck.  We have CLEAR and GE and they have been well worth it on numerous occasions.

Edited by 81Zoomie

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9 hours ago, 81Zoomie said:


if you travel frequently to the larger domestic airports CLEAR is the the way to go.  It adds consistency to your travel schedule.  Airports like BWI, Dulles, MCO, JFK, etc. can have long snaking security lines, especially in the summer and close to holidays.  CLEAR gets you to the front of the line.  You still require GE and should register with the participating airlines to insure precheck.  We have CLEAR and GE and they have been well worth it on numerous occasions.


The main problem I have with CLEAR is the annual $180 cost.  None of my credit cards or frequent flyer programs presently have cost reduction offers for CLEAR.  We don’t travel enough to justify that expense.   

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On 11/11/2019 at 10:02 AM, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I was able to use the passport app once at Port Everglades, and then the next year they said they weren't using it. Other posters around the time I couldn't use the app said they could use it. So it's all about how Customs and Immigration decide to staff the terminal on any given day. 

 

Now that I have GE I'm hoping not to have to stand in line for an hour at Port Everglades. 

 

3rd Gen-from first hand experience several weeks ago disembarking the NA. We both have Global Entry and opted for luggage direct so we only had light carry on's and walked off 8:30ish with 11:37am flights. The lines were crazy long, and backed up looking even longer than an hour wait. Longest I have seen in FLL. Had to ask 3 stressed terminal people where the GE line was and actually had to show the person in charge of the line our GE cards not passports to gain access to it so have those handy for time sake (tough to find the entrance and wind around the sea of people) finally located it with 6 folks ahead of us and breezed through and quick Uber. Truly without GE I would have been stressed beyond with our flight time. Best time and money we have invested for travel ease hands down on many occasions.       

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Should have also added to my above post the check in lines at FLL were also backed up more than we have seen, luggage direct with boarding passes in hand and straight to gate has also been worth every cent when it's available.  

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2 hours ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

 

3rd Gen-from first hand experience several weeks ago disembarking the NA. We both have Global Entry and opted for luggage direct so we only had light carry on's and walked off 8:30ish with 11:37am flights. The lines were crazy long, and backed up looking even longer than an hour wait. Longest I have seen in FLL. Had to ask 3 stressed terminal people where the GE line was and actually had to show the person in charge of the line our GE cards not passports to gain access to it so have those handy for time sake (tough to find the entrance and wind around the sea of people) finally located it with 6 folks ahead of us and breezed through and quick Uber. Truly without GE I would have been stressed beyond with our flight time. Best time and money we have invested for travel ease hands down on many occasions.       

 

I don't know why, but the staff at FLL seem to enjoy making life difficult. With the mobile passport app, I had it visible on my phone, and the person in charge of the line still didn't want to let me through without a discussion. The next time, they weren't using the mobile passport at all, and a very unpleasant woman had closed off the handicap line. There were 6 people in wheelchairs and she didn't want to let them into the line! 

 

I'll make sure I have my GE card ready to show.

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Yes, we too had a few hits and more than one miss with mobile passport hence the GE process. Be prepared to strongly ask and insist repeatedly as they try to herd everyone in the same line.  Agree! The limited outgoing/disembarking terminal staff are extremely rude and for the most part disengaged. Ironic though on embarkation day it may very well be the same team on the same day that could not be more helpful. Go figure.   

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When we disembarked the Koningsdam a few days ago we were told GE and Nexus were discontinued at the port, and, because I had had an email from Nexus saying they were switching to facial recognition, I believed the agent, but as we eventually got through, I did see the Nexus logo up on the wall, I think. 

 

We just arrived in Calgary and Nexus still used the eyeball scan...

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Two quick items from our trip to Europe last month.  We flew into Kennedy for a transfer to a flight to Rome.  Even though we had signed up and paid for pre-check, we did not get it marked on our boarding passes and had to go through the regular line (all passengers must go through security again if they change terminals).  Returning to Atlanta with a change of planed to our home, we could not use mobile passport.  All incoming US passengers must go to a kiosk and after putting in the needed information, receive a receipt to present to an immigration officer.  In addition, all passengers transferring to another flight go through what is essentially a pre-check security line.  TSA pre-check is worthless for that line as well.

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TSA pre-check is not always guaranteed to the subscriber.  TSA has the right to do this for random screenings. A few years ago, at our local airport the pre-check line had to go thru regular screening for a long time because, they said, the machine was broken, and we all had to remove our shoes for the regular line.  🙄   No guarantees.

 

Mobile passport is not available at all airports.  One has to look for the signs on the wall, which are sometimes small.  Current list: Mobile passport
 

Global Entry is not available at all U.S. international airports.  CBP has a list on their website of airports that participate.  Participating GE airports.  YMMV

Edited by Walfam

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21 minutes ago, Lazz58 said:

Two quick items from our trip to Europe last month.  We flew into Kennedy for a transfer to a flight to Rome.  Even though we had signed up and paid for pre-check, we did not get it marked on our boarding passes and had to go through the regular line (all passengers must go through security again if they change terminals).  Returning to Atlanta with a change of planed to our home, we could not use mobile passport.  All incoming US passengers must go to a kiosk and after putting in the needed information, receive a receipt to present to an immigration officer.  In addition, all passengers transferring to another flight go through what is essentially a pre-check security line.  TSA pre-check is worthless for that line as well.

 

You need to make sure it’s in your profile with that airline for it to display on your boarding pass.  If you can’t do it yourself/don’t have a profile, you can ask the agent at check-in to add it.

 

Arriving in Atlanta from an international flight (and subsequent connection) is already an expedited process where TSA Pre doesn’t apply.  They do, however, have GE there.

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33 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

You need to make sure it’s in your profile with that airline for it to display on your boarding pass.  If you can’t do it yourself/don’t have a profile, you can ask the agent at check-in to add it.

 

Arriving in Atlanta from an international flight (and subsequent connection) is already an expedited process where TSA Pre doesn’t apply.  They do, however, have GE there.


Two or maybe three things to remember about PreCheck.  One, not all airlines participate in the program.  Granted the list of participating airlines has grown and continues to grow but there still are some that don’t.  Secondly, even with participating airlines you must have your PreCheck number loaded in your passenger profile for that airline.   One thing that has caused some confusion are situations where you book an International flight say through Delta but parts of the itinerary are serviced by their frequent flyer partners.  If your return flight is on one of those partners you must, assuming they are also a participating airline, have your passenger profile information loaded in their system.  Your complete data from Delta does not automatically load.  Third, you can be randomly non-selected for PreCheck and in fact for any of the Trusted Traveler Programs (i.e., GE, NEXUS, SENTRI).   Certainly it doesn’t happen often but there is no 100% guarantee you will always get the benefit.   
 

Atlanta is actually one of my least favorite reentry airports.   Yes they have GE and yes it would appear from reports I’ve read they do not presently allow or use the mobile passport app.  The whole PreCheck lane after Customs and Immigration is a bit of a mystery and mess,  Supposedly there is one but we didn’t see it or find it and got stuck in this incredibly long line.   We asked the TSA officer about it and she kind of dismissed us with a “you should have gone upstairs” and said we missed a sign.   Whatever.  Luckily we rarely reenter through Atlanta.  

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Excellent post @Randyk47.  I caught a connecting flight in Atlanta (from overseas) a few weeks ago.  They’ve figured out the pre-check lane because that’s the one we were directed to.  I was actually quite surprised at the number of staff they had, and that they knew what they were doing.  Hope it continues.

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49 minutes ago, Randyk47 said:


Two or maybe three things to remember about PreCheck.  One, not all airlines participate in the program.  Granted the list of participating airlines has grown and continues to grow but there still are some that don’t.  Secondly, even with participating airlines you must have your PreCheck number loaded in your passenger profile for that airline.   One thing that has caused some confusion are situations where you book an International flight say through Delta but parts of the itinerary are serviced by their frequent flyer partners.  If your return flight is on one of those partners you must, assuming they are also a participating airline, have your passenger profile information loaded in their system.  Your complete data from Delta does not automatically load.  Third, you can be randomly non-selected for PreCheck and in fact for any of the Trusted Traveler Programs (i.e., GE, NEXUS, SENTRI).   Certainly it doesn’t happen often but there is no 100% guarantee you will always get the benefit.   
 

Atlanta is actually one of my least favorite reentry airports.   Yes they have GE and yes it would appear from reports I’ve read they do not presently allow or use the mobile passport app.  The whole PreCheck lane after Customs and Immigration is a bit of a mystery and mess,  Supposedly there is one but we didn’t see it or find it and got stuck in this incredibly long line.   We asked the TSA officer about it and she kind of dismissed us with a “you should have gone upstairs” and said we missed a sign.   Whatever.  Luckily we rarely reenter through Atlanta.  

 

I booked air to England through Cunard (sailing home!) and it's booked through American but on a British Airways flight. When I got my GE number, I went into both airlines and set up a profile. Not terribly likely to fly with them again, but I want to make sure they all have the Pre-check info for me.

 

I almost always get pre-check with United. Could be a frequent flyer thing, could be my age (am I too old to cause trouble?), could be a lot of luck with the random thing. But wouldn't it be ironic if I'm finally official and I don't get it on BA?!?

 

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3 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

BA joined TSA Pre last year so you’re good to go.  👍

 

Good to know! I'd normally look for a flight out of Newark, but I want to fly from JFK to have an excuse to stay at the TWA hotel, and it turned out to be the least expensive option. I hope I don't regret my decision. From what I can see online, the BA terminal looks pretty dire.

 

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