Hints for Travelers

Many Seabrookers travel to visit family and friends as well as take wonderful trips.  There are several ways you can speed up the time going through security and/or customs checkpoints.  Use TSA Pre and CLEAR to go through the TSA checkpoints in the US, Mobile Passport to come back into the US through security and customs and Global Entry to help both going out of and coming back into the US.  Depending on where and how often you travel may dictate which ones to use.   

Travel Within the United States

TSA Pre®   This has been around for some time. Not only is the line shorter for TSA Pre® at most US airports, but you also don’t need to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. Sometimes you are lucky enough to be chosen at random and get the TSA Pre® on your boarding pass.  To be certain that you have TSA Pre®, it is better to apply for the membership.  Apply online at  https://www.tsa.gov/precheck and set up an interview at their office on Ashley River Road.  Once you receive confirmation of your registration, make sure to list your Known Traveler Number when you book your flight.

CLEAR– this is a relatively new program in the US that will also expedite your travel through TSA.  In some airports, such as DCA and BWI, the TSA Pre® line can be as long as the regular line.  CLEAR is currently available at 35 US airports and uses biometrics – your eyes and fingertips – to confirm it’s really you. To read more about CLEAR, go to their website  https://www.clearme.com

Travel Internationally

Mobile Passport – This is a free app for your smartphone or tablet that will enable you to submit your passport information and customs declaration form to U.S. Customs and Border Protection when entering the US.

A few hints that will save you time:

  • Double check that the airport or cruise port where you will be entering the US will accept Mobile Passport.  At this writing, there are 26 airports in the US as well as 3 cruise ports, and they are adding new ones all the time.
  • Download the app at home and scan your passport and take a selfie.
  • Before you enter the US, when you are on the airplane, go into the app and answer the questions about your re-entry into the US.
  • Once you have landed and can connect to wireless or wi-fi, submit the required data.  Within a few minutes, you will receive a receipt with an encrypted barcode which will be valid for 4 hours.
  • When you are in the airport or cruise port, follow the Mobile Passport Control signs to the designated Mobile Passport Control line. Show your phone to the officer.

Global Entry – This program is great to have because it works going out of and returning to the US as well as entering some other countries.  You have to enroll in this program and have an interview.  We do not currently have an enrollment center in SC; the closest one is in Charlotte.

Once accepted into the program, you will receive an identification card.  There are three different uses of Global Entry:

  • When traveling through US Airports, it is just like TSA Pre®, so you don’t need both.  You just go through the TSA Pre® line.
  • When leaving another country to come home to the US, you bypass the long lines going through security and customs by using a kiosk to scan your passport and fingerprints.
  • A great advantage of this program is that you can also use it to enter certain countries that are part of this expedited entry program, such as the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Singapore.  It is part of the Trusted Travellers Program that expedites your entry into participating countries.

To find out more about Global Entry, click here.

Safe travels!

Tidelines Editors