The Travel Lowdown: Global Entry

In our last Travel Lowdown entry, we went over all the details of TSA Pre-Check. Today, we’re back with everything you need to know about Global Entry.

What is Global Entry?

Global Entry is a program that provides expedited entry into the United States for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Members will be able to use an automated kiosk when they enter the country, allowing for quicker movement through customs and immigration.

Being a member of Global Entry means: no processing lines, no paperwork, expedited entry benefits to certain other countries, reduced wait times, and TSA Pre-Check Eligibility.

Which airports participate in Global Entry?

There are currently 59 airports participating in Global Entry, including Anchorage, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Newark, Phoenix, San Francisco, and so many more – including Esplanade’s home airport of Boston!

To see a list of all participating airports, please click here:

How do I get Global Entry?

Travelers must be pre-approved for the Global Entry program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview.

First, you will need to log in online and create an account. The enrollment website can be found here:;jsessionid=LmxDJowpwRA2KwJdxER1LeykjUdR7dZQMDHk7ul3hdk0OjoDsqAh!-36140590

Once logged in, you will need to complete the application and pay a $100 non-refundable fee. This means that even if you don’t qualify for Global Entry, you will not be refunded that money.

If your application is approved, you will need to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. These interviews must be conducted in-person. You can view a list of Enrollment Centers here:

When the day of your interview arrives, you will need to bring your valid passport and one other form of ID, such as a driver’s license.

After the interview, you will be informed if you have successfully become a member of the Global Entry program!

What Does it Cost?

There is a non-refundable $100 application fee. After 5 years, your card will expire and you need to renew your membership. To renew, you will need to pay another $100 application fee.

What is a KTN?

A KTN is a Known Traveler Number and consists of 9 digits of letters and/or numbers. This is your ID number, and entering this number when you make airline reservations will indicate to the airline that you are eligible for Global Entry.

What can I expect if I have Global Entry?

If you have been approved and have been issued a KTN, you are considered a member of Global Entry. Upon arriving at the airport after a trip abroad, proceed to the Global Entry kiosk and follow three steps:

  1. Present your readable passport
  2. Place your fingerprints on the scanner
  3. Complete a customs declaration

You will then be issued a receipt, at which point you can head to baggage claim and exit the airport.

Do I have to apply for both TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry?

If you are considering both TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry, you may want to go the Global Entry route. The Global Entry program has a more rigorous application process and thus, members are also automatically eligible for TSA Pre-Check as well.

What’s the catch?

Currently, Global Entry kiosks are available at 59 different airports, but if you fly into an airport without Global Entry kiosks, you will have to wait in the same lines as everyone else.

While the ultimate goal of this program is to speed up the customs and immigration process for travelers, safety and security is still the top priority. Members may be selected for further examination, and any violation of the terms and conditions of Global Entry will have consequences, including being removed from the program.

All in all, Global Entry is a time-saving program for frequent international travelers. Contact your travel specialist here at Esplanade with any additional questions, and happy travels!

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