Like so many of my fellow bloggers I was an early applicant for Global Entry that also includes TSA Pre✓® as well for the flat $100 fee for 5 years. This, to me, is one of the absolute greatest values in travel.
An even better value is using a card that pay you back for the perk like the non-Delta AMEX Platinum card (good once every 5 years) or other cards like the Citi BANK Prestige card that keeps giving me value like my free $700 golf trip this fall (btw, if you can not use the perk, maybe pay for a family member).
But now I am less than 1 year (364 days to be exact) and on my GOES home page I have a new button that has appeared. It gives me the option to “Renew Membership” that was not there before. But should I do this? I wanted more guidance.
I was, in the middle of May, visiting Chicago’s O’Hare ORD a number of times due to the amazing 250 SkyMiles 1st class flights from Toronto’s YYZ (and I go there via ORD on AA). Well the US Customs & Border Patrol location for my area happens to be at ORD terminal 5. So I tried to call to get more info but got stuck in never ending voice prompts. Great. Since I was there I went in person and talked to the officer at the desk. This was a most interesting conversation that stunned me.
I asked if I could re-up in person? I was told no.
I asked about the web site re-new process? I was told it was broken!
Really? I was told to wait until my Global Entry expires next year. Then, wait one week and only then apply. Also, I was told I should apply like I have never ever had GOES before and to click that I have never had it.
Wait – what? Really? You are kidding me? That does not sound smart.
Yep, that was the shocking exchange with the officer manning the desk at ORD. I have to tell you I was beyond stupefied. This was not an answer I was OK with so time to see what the GOES web site renewal would bring (<-Link with direction how to).
After updating a number of bits that had changed over the past four years I was presented with some frustrating information. It seemed that I would have to, again, like the first time I applied for Global Entry, go to Chicago to interview again for my next 5 years of approval as you can see from the slide above. This despite no issues at all over the past 4 years and hundreds of flights far and wide.
I was finally greeted with an update to my GOES home page that my status was pending. I have been told by others that a number of things could happen next.
- I could be asked for a new interview
- I could be granted a phone interview
- I could be instantly re-approved
- I could be refused renewal
I was somewhat concerned after the info I received from the US Customs & Border Patrol officer in Chicago. But I need not have worried. After about three weeks I got an email to check my GOES home page.
I received notice that my status had changed and as you can see I was simply renewed for another 5 years beyond my previous expiration date including my KTN or known traveler number that includes my TSA Pre✓®. Further I clicked the “read notification” button and was presented with:
Honestly, other than being scared to death by the US Customs & Border Patrol officer in Chicago, I found this process to be quick, painless and not even that long of a wait (I was expecting a much longer wait).
Having said that, as we have seen in the news, a number of new airlines are now going to be included in TSA Pre✓®. Not just that, but due to the mess of #IhateTheWait more and more people “should” be applying for expedited security. This means if your current Global Entry membership is close to expiring, I would, as soon as you can, get the process started like I have. Even if it takes weeks (or even months) by starting the process at the 364 day mark you will ensure uninterrupted membership in the Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® program.
A few other bits. My KTN did NOT change but I would check this when you get your re-approval letter. If, for some reason, it has changed you will need to go to all the airlines websites you fly and update the number (here is how to for Delta). I am also assuming I will get a new Global Entry ID card with my updated expiration in the mail. This is the ID I use when I travel rather than my drivers license as it just “lives” in my travel bag for convenience.
Have you yet had the chance to re-apply for membership? Was it as simple for you as it was for me? – René