Mobile Passport App–no more waiting in line at customs!

Mobile  PassportDue to being pregnant with twins and then  on  maternity leave, I haven’t traveled internationally in over a year. But I definitely remember how awful the customs lines were, and how much time Global Entry saved me once I signed up. The last time I flew internationally without Global Entry I had to wait two and a half hours for customs and almost missed my connecting flight. Such a stressful experience! Ever since then I have strongly recommended to ANY frequent traveler to sign up for Global Entry (and by extension, TSA Pre-check).

However, some people either don’t have time to wait for the interview process or can’t sign up for Global Entry for another reason. So they have to stand in that awful customs line right? Not necessarily! There is now an app called Mobile Passport that is officially authorized by US Customs and Border Protection. It allows travelers to submit their customs declaration via their iPhone or Android and pass the regular customs line. Woohoo! It replaces the typical customs paper that’s required of anyone entering the US by air.

So far Mobile Passport is available at 12 airports, including many of the major entry points: DFW, JFK, MIA, ORD, EWR, SFO, and others. It sounds like it will make things so much faster for international travelers without Global Entry. Anything to spend less time in line! Helpful apps are the best. They just really are.

Readers, have any of you used Mobile Passport? Any other apps you’re excited about these days?

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  1. I’ve used this app close to a dozen times, mostly at MIA, and it’s been great except for once. However, I’m worried that’s due to the low # of people using it and not because it’s “better” than anything else. All but one time, I’ve walked right through. The biggest slowdown is generally caused by the agent not really sure how the Mobile app works.

    My one bad experience was last week, landing at MIA around 9pm. They seemed a bit short-staffed at immigration (not sure why since all the Central / South American flights were landing) and they combined the Mobile App line with the Global Entry line and then sent Crew to the same line. What a disaster.

  2. Yes, I tried to use it 2x, once at SFO and another at EWR, but neither time worked. The app would not download the needed info when I landed at the airport. Thought it was cell reception, but I could browse the Internet, text and make calls, so that wasn’t it. Deleted the app.

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