Mobile Passport App: A way to skip the lines at US Customs
No one enjoys standing in long lines to get through customs when you arrive back in the USA from a trip abroad. As a result, many frequent fliers have signed up for Global Entry. I don’t travel enough to make it worth the 3-hour drive to the nearest city I can get it at, nor the $100 fee.
This app, which is officially recognized by U.S.Customs and Border Protection, is free. It can be used by US and Canadian passport holders.
Our experience using the Mobile Passport app
Over Christmas, my daughter and I decided to try it out when we returned home from Europe. All family members can be included so I added her details to my app. It was easy to add in our photos (take a selfie!) and passport information and then you have to wait until you land to complete the rest.
We landed at Dulles International Airport, Washington DC – quickly logged in and entered the time of arrival and our flight number … and then it showed an error. I tried repeatedly but realized it wasn’t a user error but a system one when I overheard a flight attendant complaining it wasn’t working.
I was disappointed but decided to try again on our flight back from Jamaica. This time we entered the US through Hartsfield International, Atlanta. My husband was traveling with us and he does have Global Entry so we were interested to see how our experience would compare to his. On landing, I entered the necessary info and this time it worked!
We watched out for the signs to show us where to go, but it wasn’t always obvious so we did ask a few times to be sure we were doing the right thing. It was great to be able to skip all the lines at customs! We made it through only a few minutes after my husband.
So although Global Entry is probably still the fastest way to get through customs, using the Mobile Passport App is almost as fast and it is Free and Convenient!
At present, you can use it at 22 International Airports and one Cruise Port with more being added all the time.
If you haven’t used it yet, go download the Mobile Passport App and see how much time it can save you!
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