Last updated: 12:15 PM ET, Fri July 15 2016

Does Mobile Passport Eliminate the Need for Global Entry?

Airlines & Airports | Paul Thompson | July 15, 2016

Does Mobile Passport Eliminate the Need for Global Entry?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Nothing ruins the memory of a great international vacation or a successful business trip than landing in the U.S. and having to wait in a long Customs and Border Protection (CBP) queue. There’s a solution — no, not Global Entry — and it’s also free. Meet Mobile Passport.

Mobile Passport is a smartphone app that makes Customs clearance quick and painless. And the best thing about it is that it’s completely free, unlike Global Entry. Once you download the app, you set up a user profile. You can even add your family members in the same app, so there’s no need for everyone to have a smartphone.

READ MORE: Is Global Entry Worth It?

Once you land, you select the airport you’re arriving at, and you take a selfie. I kid you not. Then you answer the typical CBP questions that you’d normally find on that paper form that always sends you hunting for a pen. You submit your form, and bada-bing — you receive a bar-coded receipt on your phone, which expires four hours later. You make your way to the Arrivals Hall and follow signs to Mobile Passport Control, scan the bar code and head home.

Unlike Global Entry, there’s no thirty-page questionnaire, background check or interview required. Global Entry seems to make their application process complicated while with Mobile Passport, well, there is no application process. At this point, Global Entry seems like a big waste of time and money.

Users report Mobile Passport lines being even quicker than Global Entry lines, so you can swiftly pass by those who forked over an annual fee. It almost seems too good to be true. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, so it’s surprising that so few people know about this. You are still required to possess and travel with your valid U.S. or Canadian Passport to use the app.

READ MORE: Passenger Suing TSA After Missing Flight Due to Long Security Lines

Airports Council International — North America, who worked closely with the CBP to design and implement a secure, fast and traveler-friendly process for Mobile Passport Control. The app developer, Airside Mobile has pioneered mobile boarding passes, food delivery to the gate, expedited airport security programs and more. They’re on a mission to make travel more efficient and pleasurable for everyone, at a time when it seems like a three-way battle between airlines, airports and passengers.

Mobile Passport first rolled out at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport over a year ago, and can now be used at most international gateway cities in the U.S. The app can only be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play (Android) Store.


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