When you’re initially thru the Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check application, you then have to have an in-person interview with a TSA agent at a participating airport. However, when I went to schedule my in-person interview, the waiting period was ~2 months. Plus, I didn’t even have a flight on the day of my newly scheduled interview! So, I would have to drive 30 minutes to the airport and 30 minutes back home. There has to be a better way, I thought.
Especially having an international flight and a couple domestic flights prior to my scheduled interview, it sure would be useful to have these perks.
So, prior to a domestic flight of mine, I arrived at the airport a bit early and walked into the TSA interview office right when they opened. There were about 5 people inside of the small 8-foot by 8-foot white-walled room that all had their interviews scheduled. The woman that was checking the order asked me what my time was and I said that I was hoping for a drop-in interview since I happened to have a flight that day. She said that there would be no guarantees of an interview, but if someone didn’t show up or they finished early, I could possibly get in.
Just about 45 minutes of waiting went by and I was nearly ready to call it quits and head thru security to my gate, a stocky, male TSA agent with a mustache and scruff invited me into the backroom to chat with him. That’s exactly what it was – a chat. Just about all of the countries I have been to, why I wanted Global Entry privileges, and so on. All-in-all this took about 15 minutes and I was able to use TSA Pre-Check that same day.
I now had a Known Traveler ID Number that I could put into my bookings to receive TSA Pre-Check on participating airlines. Score!
As I write this on a flight to Vietnam, I am relieved knowing that when I get back to the States, I can breeze thru customs with Global Entry.
Just note that this was at the Pittsburgh International Airport. I’m sure that as long as you’re polite and arrive an hour or two earlier than you normally would, you can interview way ahead of your interview date.