Travelling has changed drastically over the last fifty years with some passengers feeling as though the process is more expensive and cumbersome than ever. There are many contributing factors supporting these changes ranging from security enhancements within the airport to paying a la carte for bags, wifi, food, etc. Like any business, airlines want to make a profit and many of those comforts of life we enjoy come with a price and are then passed on to the customer. In the advent of all the changes, the airline industry has continued to provide value to their customers by way of frequent flier programs, increased security and customs programs, and airport upgrades.
Security and customs have implemented several great programs such as Clear, TSA Pre Check, Global Entry, Automated Passport Control (APC), Mobile Passport Control (MPC), and International to International (ITI) Baggage.
As a member of Clear, you head to the Clear lane scan your boarding pass and finger and go straight to physical screening. Some airlines such as Delta, participate with Clear and SkyMiles members can take advantage of exclusive pricing for Clear membership. Today, Clear is available in 27 airports and you may learn more by visiting clearme.com/delta.
TSA Pre Check allows passengers expedited security screening for low-risk travelers departing from airports within the US. The fee is $85 and the service is valid for 5 years. This program is available at more than 200 airports and allows members to forgo removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets. To learn more visit tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.
Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program allowing for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival into the US. There is a $100 fee and the service is valid for 5 years and includes Pre Check benefits as well. Global Entry is available in more that 50 airports, check out more about this at cbp.gov.
Automated Passport Control (APC) is another CBP program expediting the entry process for US citizens, lawful permanent residents, Canadians, returning visa waiver program and eligible visa travelers through the use of self-service kiosks to submit customs declaration form(s) and biographic information. APC is free and does not require pre-registration or membership. APC is available at more than 40 airports and you may read more about this program at cbp.gov.
Mobile Passport Control (MPC) is a CBP smartphone or tablet app expediting the entry process for US citizens and Canadian travelers. Through the app, travelers can submit their customs declaration form and passport information prior to CBP inspection. MPC is a free service, the app may be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and is available at 26 airports. Find out more at mobilepassport.us.
International to International (ITI) Baggage is a CBP program that does not require travelers to claim their checked baggage for CBP inspections if transiting the US from non-US airport to another non- US airport. This program is currently being piloted and therefore only available at select US airports (ATL and DTW).
Delta is investing $12 billion in the terminals of the future through airport infrastructure projects and industry-leading technology. Customers departing out of all international flights from DTW’s concourse A can now choose to board using facial recognition technology. You would simply approach the camera to have your photo taken. Make sure to have your passport. If you determine you do not want to use this technology, tell the gate agent and use either your printed or mobile boarding pass. Delta is also investing $1.9 billion into reimagined Sky Way at LAX. The terminal enhancements will permit a seamless process from drop off to takeoff and includes a connector bridge between terminals 2, 3, and terminal b. To read more about this project visit delta.com/skywayatlax.
As you can see domestically and all over the world new projects are going on to make the customer experience more pleasurable and easier to maneuver throughout the airport. Comment below and tell me what do you think about the enhancements being made to the travel industry.
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