Complete the application, pay the fee, make an appointment, get interviewed…pass GO and speed through the airport skipping most of the lines.
Well, at least that’s how it’s explained by U.S. Customs. Successfully completing the G.O.E.S. (Global Online Enrollment System) process enables travelers to be designated with the status of Trusted Traveler, and as such makes it possible to pass through customs in under 60 seconds. (I can only hope!)
With two international trips planned for 2016, it seemed like G.O.E.S. should be pursued. So what’s involved?
- Set up a GOES account.
- Complete the application online.
- Pay a $100 application fee.
- Schedule an appointment for an interview.
- Complete the interview, get fingerprinted and have your photo taken.
If approved, a Trusted Traveler card arrives in the mail with instructions for activation.
The application was relatively simple to complete and while dishing out $100 was not pleasant, since Trusted Traveler benefits last for 5 years, it’s really a small price to pay to make the airport experience more pleasant. And the benefits extend to traveling within the U.S. as well as internationally.
Have you ever fumed while standing in a long line waiting for everyone to empty pockets, take off shoes, remove laptops from bags and take off jackets and belts for the TSA screening? Ever notice the nearly empty line of travelers walking through security wearing their shoes and belts without removing coats or laptops? Well, that’s another benefit. Trusted travelers qualify for the TSA Pre-Check program.
It’s official, I passed the background check and interview. My Global Entry card arrived in the mail. I’m anxious to put my card to work. I can hardly wait to be the envy of those barefoot travelers wondering what makes me so special.