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BANGKOK 19 July 2019 21:14
Jingthing

U.S. topic -- Jump the line at U.S. customs with Passport Express phone app?

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Who knew? 

Has anyone tried this?


 

Quote

 

Pssst. Mobile Passport is the best-kept secret in air travel.

 

After a long-haul flight home from abroad, it is soul-crushing to see a long, snaking line to get through customs when you land at an American airport. If you’re lucky, maybe it moves quickly. If you’re smart, you have Mobile Passport downloaded on your phone.

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/pssst-mobile-passport-is-best-kept-secret-air-travel/

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It's been around for a couple of years.

 

The app is supposed to be OK. I have never used it - I've had Global Entry for ~ 7 years.

 

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/mobile-passport-control

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.mobilepassport&hl=en

 

https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id907024887

 

There are quite a few videos on Youtube detailing the use. You still have to go through a line, albeit a special line, and present the bar code to an officer.  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=U.S.+mobile+passport

 

It does have some limitations: number of airports (26), you still have to pass the "normal" Customs (not arriving passport control) line exiting the baggage area - two weeks ago at EWR this line was easily 1 Km long (with Global Entry you bypass this line and walk straight through).

 

Global Entry also includes TSA Pre (check), which is a HUGE plus, assuming yuor airline and airport(s) support it, and it provides a RealID-compliant ID.

 

Mobile Passport is probably worth downloading and trying.

 

 

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Apparently, when it works, it is good and can save a fair amount of time in a busy immigrations hall.

 

However, my experience was pretty bad.  I tried it three times (three inbound trips) -- I'm a slow learner -- and stopped trying.  Something about the app would place a mark on my record so that not only did the app not give approval to continue with the process, it marked my entry somehow so that when I went to a kiosk (as I would have without using the app) I got a big old "X" on my paper printout and had to go to a special line for extra processing.  So, my advice is to try it -- once -- and see if it expedites things for you.  If it fails, do not try it again thinking it was a one-off glitch.

 

I've been Global Entry for the past few years, so can't clearly remember what the error messages were on the app when it failed.

 

[edited to add:]

Found a screen shot of the error I would get:

a.jpg.be3dc876e10a369cc888e53284ef0063.jpg

If you get this pop-up message, in my experience: just forget about ever trying it again.

Edited by wpcoe
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9 hours ago, wpcoe said:

I've been Global Entry for the past few years,

 

If you have GE then you should NOT be using the Mobile Passport app.

 

Just go to the GE kiosk, follow the simple instructions (insert passport, scan fingerprints, answer questions).

 

Most everyone I now who's used the Mobile Passport app. has reported success.

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

 

If you have GE then you should NOT be using the Mobile Passport app.

 

Just go to the GE kiosk, follow the simple instructions (insert passport, scan fingerprints, answer questions).

Yeah, I know that.  Because I've had GE for a few years, it would have been before that when I tried using Mobile Passport, and hence why I couldn't recall the error message (until I found the screen shot.)

 

I asked the Immigrations officers who processed me after each attempt why it failed and they looked at my records in their computer and found no reason why it should not have worked.  Go figure.

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