New Mobile Passport App can expedite airport customs

Everyone once in awhile I come across travel information that is so useful that it must be shared. I subscribe to a medical evacuation service called Medjet Assist and the article below was written by its president in a recent newsletter. It is about an app called Mobile Passport. Now I already have TSA Precheck and Global Entry (which just helped us zip through customs and immigration at Detroit airport) but now I have added Mobile Passport to my arsenal of ways to cope with flying these days.

By Roy Berger, Medjet President/CEO

The last time we met in this space, back in July, I had asked whether any of our Medjet members had any experience with Mobile Passport, and as usual the response was not only brisk but overwhelmingly positive.

The Mobile Passport app, a free download at both the App Store and on Google Play, not only makes not having it and having to wait on the immigration line seem prehistoric, but with my initial usage, also made Global Entry seem like the slow lane.

Mobile Passport was something I read about a number of months ago in the Wall Street Journal and with a trip to Africa on my schedule for late August, I thought I would try to gather a consensus from our members on its practicality as I hate, and I mean hate, the conventional immigration lines in Atlanta. And even though I have Global Entry, my wife doesn’t, which won’t speed matters for both of us.

The download for Mobile Passport is easy: enter the required passport information. It’s just about the same as filling out an immigration form prior to US arrival. And once you are within four hours of arrival, if you have Internet access in the sky or you can even wait until you land, you go back into the app, fill out the details of the journey just completed and then go into the immigration hall and look for the dedicated Mobile Passport area.

When we arrived in Atlanta early on a Saturday morning, there was a fair amount of people on the regular immigration queue and proportionately less at Global Entry. Mobile Passport, on the other hand, was wide-open, staffed by three officers that literally met us and walked us through the process. It has never been easier.

We actually got to baggage claim a good ten minutes before the couple we were traveling with who had Global Entry. That was the good news; the not-so-good news was we had to collect their baggage until they got through their ‘expedited’ process.

So thank you, Medjet members, I too am now a huge Mobile Passport booster. Go ahead and download the app and then make sure your domestic arrival airport recognizes Mobile Passport. I’m told right now LAX and a few others don’t. But if you can use it; use it. It’s not only quicker and better than Global Entry, it’s something else Global Entry isn’t: free.

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