In a couple of days I will travel home for yet another lovely summer in Portland, Oregon. This has me thinking about other ways of making a smoother transition between Venezuela and Portland. I’ve already mentioned how to stay sexy while traveling, but what about a more efficient trip?
I know, I know, my abhorrence for waiting in long lines and desire for efficiency marks me as decidedly American, but I can’t help it! When I am traveling with a couple of big pieces of luggage and I have a long trip ahead of me, I want the smoothest trip possible. This got me thinking about Global Entry, TSA PreCheck,and the NEXUS program that I haven’t heard much about).
Maybe it is due to the fact that for the past two years my primary airports have been in Maracaibo and Caracas, but I have never seen separate functioning lines for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck while living in Latin America. If I stretch my memory back to my last summer home, I might recall seeing a TSA PreCheck line in Portland, but that is the only spot I can think of. Are these programs more prevalent outside of Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic? While I saw the kiosks for the Global Entry program in Caracas the last time I was there, the machines appeared to be nonfunctioning and there were no staff members nearby. Did I miss something?
According to the Huffington Post and NYTs if you apply and pay the (nonrefundable) $100 fee you can apply for both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck at the same time. If your application is approved you can skip immigration lines, have access to faster security lines, you can leave on shoes and belts, and avoid the body scanners- for FIVE years!
Personally, I don’t normally spend more than 20 minutes or so in security or immigration lines so on the off chance that my application would be denied, and the fact that I haven’t really encountered a working kiosk during my recent travels, I plan on keeping my $100 for future travel escapades.
If you are reading this, have you ever successfully used either of these programs? Are they worth the cost?