Poll: Do you have Global Entry or TSA Pre-check?

A couple of weeks ago I had lunch with a friend who is also a fellow business traveler. She actually travels more than I do, heading out almost weekly on domestic trips with a few international trips in between. So imagine my shock when she said that coming home from her last trip to Asia customs took her almost two hours, and maybe it was finally time to sign up for Global Entry.

If you’ve read Road Warriorette for any length of time you know that I am a passionate proponent for Global Entry. It has saved me countless hours in the customs lines coming home from Mexico and Asia. And since it includes TSA Pre-check I’ve saved even more time going through approximately one million security lines in the last three years.

When I applied for the program three years ago there were no interview slots available at my local airport so I had to drive three hours to the Houston airport. It was 100% worth it, and I would do it again without hesitation. I literally can’t stress enough how helpful Global Entry/TSA Pre-check have been for me. I spend so much of my life traveling that I want to save time everywhere I can!

In case you’re not familiar, here is a quick summary of the benefits:

TSA Pre-check: Go through a separate security line, don’t remove laptop or liquids from your bag, don’t take off your shoes. $85 for 5 years. Full program details here.

Global Entry: Instead of waiting in the customs line go to a kiosk that verifies your identity biometrically. Includes all the benefits of Pre-check. $100 for 5. Full program details here.

Many credit cards will reimburse you for the cost of Global Entry so check into that if you’re signing up.

It’s always a surprise to me when I come across a frequent traveler who hasn’t signed up for Global Entry! My curiosity has been piqued about our own community.

Readers, can you take a second to answer this poll? 

Are you enrolled in Global Entry or TSA Pre-check?

View Results

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Any thoughts about TSA Pre-check or Global Entry? Do you love them/hate them/indifferent?

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Comments

  1. Love PreCheck. Frustrating to travel with someone who doesn’t have it.

    Love Global Entry, although many airports have kiosks available that are almost as fast. And the Mobile Passport app is very nice, as well.

    It’s amazing how many airports don’t have TSA PreCheck available at the checkpoints after immigration/customs. They’ll have signs up advertising Global Entry, but then not make an important part of the service available to participants.

  2. I have Global entry but mostly fly domestic. It seems that every time I am going to use Global Entry the Kiosks are down which is sad.

    My biggest complaint about Precheck is that the TSA allows CLEAR customer to cut in line. Who agreed to that? I didn’t. I know this is minor but it’s the point of why a private firm should be allowed to cut to the front of a TSA line. Seems weird to me.

  3. I started to apply for Global Entry in 2015 before starting an extended international trip, but I didn’t complete the application. I don’t remember exactly, but I believe the problem had something to do with the fact that I’d moved around so much. Maybe the application asks for all of your former addresses or something?

    In any case, it wasn’t a huge deal for me, bc most of my flights are abroad. And when I returned through JFK – which I will *never* do again – all of the Global Entry kiosks were down, so *everybody* had to wait two hours to get through.

    Then I had the happy experience of American giving me TSA PreCheck for my international flight from Las Vegas to Mexico City. I didn’t even know airlines could do that. It was a glorious experience, and well worth paying for. I may re-visit the application at some point, but I plan on spending as much time as possible out of the country for the foreseeable future, and traveling as much as I can on trains and buses. So I’m not sure how much of a difference that will make for me for the time being.

  4. GE is great. CLEAR is too. Love cutting the line and getting glared at, especially in LAS. Don’t like it? Get CLEAR. It’s ridiculously easy.

  5. I’m a crazy person who went with PreCheck over Global Entry and here’s why.

    Global Entry:
    Take the family on a five hour drive to the nearest enrollment location. Pay the fee x4.

    PreCheck:
    Wife and I go to our regional airport down the road and sign up. Our kids get PreCheck too when traveling with us. Easy.

  6. @DANINMCI CLEAR originally wanted their own line but TSA said it was confusing and allowed them to get to the front of the line since CLEAR already review the passenger. Think of it as a expedited review.
    I have CLEAR and Global Entry. Too Bad TSA PreCheck people, spend the money, don’t be cheap. Your time should be more valuable plus Delta gives you a discount.

  7. Not everyone that has Global Entry also has Precheck hence you should have made a fourth answer in your poll.

  8. Nexus is better than both, but you have to go to the border to get it. Half the price and gets you Canada perks, too!

  9. @DaninMCI – in addition to why Ben said above, they aren’t simply cutting the line alone. They cut precheck only if they are pre-check, and as Ben said, they’ve cleared everything for the TSA. Airports while owned by governments often, are commercial centers. As Clear mentions, it’s a stackable benefit. And yes, Delta makes it super cheap with the relationship.

    To the OP – I did Nexus over GE this last time. Less convenient, though extremely worth the effort even going through Canada just once or twice.

  10. Anything that speeds up airport lines is TOP in my playbook.
    I have GE and have had it since the program was started – fly through US customs at US airports and at Canada Pre-Clearance sites in Montreal & Toronto. Having the TSA PreCheck component via GE membership is a HUGE plus.

    Some airports (Ontario ONT) have limited hours of TSA PreCheck and give you a pass that requires you remove laptop and liquids but not shoes…I still don’t understand this!

    I will re-apply when the 5 years is up for sure!

  11. At my home airport (IND) with 2 concourses – they have limited Precheck to 1 concourse. The line is often much longer than the regular line. Not too long ago, some airports would allow customers from regular lines to go to the precheck scanners – which was frustrating. They weren’t screened and hadn’t paid the money or time spent to get it, yet were able to get thru on without all the shoe/laptop removals. Also most are not frequent travelers so slow the line. I haven’t seen it so much lately, so maybe they have rectified this. Also many airports only have the magnometers at the precheck line, not the xrays. Those of us with our titanium implants then have to skip precheck or tell them and they do 1 of 2 things – put your items through that scanner and have you run over to another line – leaving your baggage and purse unattended longer. OR, you and your baggage are escorted over to the line for the xray. Or you take your chances on how the magnometer is set. But it disturbs me if it doesn’t go off for me! LOL. BUT overall, it is better to have precheck! I haven’t gotten GE or Nexus – my trips to Canada are yearly if that (family) and my business trips are all domestic.

  12. I have GE but las week an inspector at Mia international Airport told me don’t waste ypur money probably it does not work for me because I’m hispanic.

  13. Got NEXUS which gave us Global Entry and TSA Precheck. Much more convenient for international travels. We also have CLEAR since our home airport uses that and it means near zero waits all the time. CLEAR gets you to the front of either the standard or precheck lines, it bypasses everything at least up to the ID check so it may be a few people ahead if you and the scanners. Completely worth it.

  14. Global Entry useless. When using it domestically, Expedited lanes are either closed or non-existent. If expedited lane closed, security does not require enrollee to remove shoes, but you must still stand in line behind all the non-enrollees who must. That means total time saved is the 15 seconds required to remove shoes. If airport busy, security allows anyone to use Pre-check lane, tho they separate them after ID is checked. If dedicated lane available security allows non-enrollees to use it, especially travelers with young children which slow the process.

    For international traffic, machines are almost non-existent.

  15. I also have NEXUS. Only $50 for 5 years and it includes TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry!

  16. Not sure where the travellers are whose GE kiosks are down and whose TSA lines are long. I have had GE w/PreCheck for years. I fly domestically several times a month, and internationally a couple of times a year. Invariably PreCheck saves me a great deal of time, and in addition, it saves me the hassle of taking off shoes, taking out electronics, etc. GE has saved me huge amounts of time returning to Dulles airport. Also, in Miami, PreCheck can mean the difference between making or missing a flight.

  17. @Skaner — yes, everyone with Global Entry DOES automatically have PreCheck. Your Global Entry PASSID also serves as your PreCheck KTN.

    @Jimmy — You could have only paid the GE fee x2, your kids could still come with you in the PreCheck line without needing to enroll them in GE. But Pre does tend to be logistically easier than GE, more enrollment places & appointments.

  18. All kiosks were down, bc whole computer system was down, at JFK late one night in August 2015. Happened to be the night I flew in from Europe, and everyone was stuck there for at least two hours before they came back online and the lines started moving again. Really ugly end to a great extended trip of about 6 months.

  19. Love Global Entry but I find too often that after clearing customs the TSA Precheck is not open. Had this happen every time I’ve traveled internationally the last two years (MIA, ATL, HOU). Finding it’s mainly at the TSA checkpoint after Customs and Immgration.

    I used to have Clear, but after a lengthy wait behind only one person (who was not enrolled and not supposed to use the line), I decided not to renew. The agent handled the situation poorly by making others wait while giving a sales pitch. I actually had Clear going way back to the original defunct version. Can anyone explain what the Delta discount is? I might consider trying it again.

  20. I transited through IAH (Houston) going from Buenos Aires to SFO on United last year.
    The TSA Pre-Check obviously did not print on my BA – IAH flight, but did for the IAH – SFO flight.
    After speeding through immigration with GE – I found one long line for security. The TSA agent said if you have TSA PreCheck – it’s actually better to use the Houston arrivals and go back thru regular security. I did this on my last trip last month and he was right !

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