Orange Passport Illustration Travel Invitation (1)I had heard about the GOES Trusted Traveler (Global Entry) card issued by the federal government and decided it was something we had to have. As you can tell from the blog, we are avid travelers. We loathe the whole standing in line at the airport process. And traveling with a baby makes the airport lines even more annoying. I thought I would explain the process that we went through so others can decide if this is something that they’d be interested in obtaining.   (This article was originally published on our other page in early 2014.)

We filled out our online application Sunday evening, December 1st and paid $100 per application. We were notified December 10th that we were ‘conditionally approved’. This notification came by an email that told us to check our GOES account. My husband was approved first, even though I submitted mine a couple hours before his. I have a feeling they did an alphabetical mass emailing situation and as such his arrived first… (We have different last names.) Upon learning of his approval I asked to check the dates available to interview. He was given a date 2 days later. I said let’s wait until I am approved so we can go together. A few hours later my email arrived. So we went online to schedule our interviews- the first place we checked was available sometime in January. Sigh. So we checked at the airport and they had a time for Christmas Eve at 5 pm and then nothing until New Years Eve. We went to our “interview” on NYE. On the notice it did remind you to bring your passport and the conditional approval letter (which has your GOES account number).  They also requested another photo id like a drivers license when we arrived for the interview.

The interview was really nothing. (My understanding is it could be lengthier if there is something in your history that interests them.)  They did our interview together. They asked if we had traveled to Mexico and Canada in the past 5 years. They also asked if we were ever charged with a crime. And if we had gotten finger prints taken before by a government entity.  They did not ask any questions to or about our 6 month old baby. We were advised that we had been approved that day and that the baby’s approval would come in a few days since they couldn’t do finger prints for him.  [His approval came later that day.]

Our cards arrived on January 6th. A mere 6 days after the interview, and those 6 days included a weekend and a holiday!!

Getting through the lines at the airport will be more convenient with our card as it also allows you to get through the TSA Pre✓™ line at the airport if you are you flying on a participating airline.

We have since used our Pre✓™ status flying Delta at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and at Miami International. Detroit had the LONGEST line, but then most people were going through the normal security process at the end of the line. Upon our reaching the first TSA individual, he noted the TSA Pre✓™ on our boarding passes, scanned them and we heard the 3 beeps sounding our approval to move to through the to the Pre✓™ screening. Wow, it was so nice! We were traveling with our infant, so I just carried him through. My shoes remained on, and they scanned our bags and stroller.  They did a quick test on the water that we had (because we were travelling with an infant) and we were through. I LOVE PRE-CHECK!  What an easy system.  Likewise in Miami we were able to proceed through the quicker security. They did tell us there that the baby’s water should all be in a separate container instead of some in my backpack and some in my husband’s. Miami’s Pre✓line was SHORT. Honestly it was a dream and the best spent $300 I spent this year. I don’t want to praise it too much as everyone will want it, but man was it nice.  Please respond if you have any questions!

Happy Travels!

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Author: Christy P

Christy is a Mom, Wife, Travel Planner, Attorney, Podcast Enthusiast & Co-Host (DCL Podcast) and a sometimes blogger. She writes about family travel, gluten free travel, and life as a travel addict. Her motto is "work hard to play harder!" Whatever you do, don't forget to Pack Your Pixie Dust.

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