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Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.
Well, it happened. Congress was unable to reach a deal and the government shutdown went into effect overnight, furloughing nearly 2 million government employees, closing visa and passport offices and national parks and monuments.
The good news is that at least the TSA and Customs and Border Patrol are both largely still at work since they are considered “essential” frontline employees, though it’s unfortunate that most of them won’t get paid until the shutdown ends. Not only that, but it looks like Global Entry enrollment centers are still open for business and processing applications.
To find out what travelers could expect, I tweeted Ross Feinstein, the Press Secretary for the TSA @TSAMedia_RossF to ask him how the government shutdown would affect Global Entry applications and he said that because Global Entry is overseen by CBP, that airport locations would most likely remain open, but that those at federal buildings, like the office in New York City, would be closed. He also recommended calling ahead to the office where you’re supposed to be interviewed, however, just to verify that it would indeed be opened and that seems like a very smart thing to do – especially because TPG reader @lauter tweeted me that she’s in a GOES office for her enrollment interview and the CBP officer told her the system has been acting strange since yesterday so you might want to double check before going in.
The interesting things was, Feinstein himself was about to be furloughed, so I was getting responses from him just under the wire – and that goes to show that if you’re tweeting, emailing or trying to call certain government agencies today and non-frontline employees like those in administrative posts, you might have to wait a while for a response.
If you are in the midst of a Global Entry application, you should still try to go ahead with it, especially if the office you’re interviewing in is still open. If it’s not, then try to switch your appointment as soon as possible to one that is. Here is the list of 35 enrollment centers, most of which are at international airports.
I think Global Entry is one of the best time-saving tools out there since it lets you go through expedited customs and immigration lines when entering the US, and it’s one of my favorite travel tools. Not only that, but remember if you have the Amex Platinum, Mercedex-Benz Platinum or Business Platinum (or Centurion) cards, the $100 application fee is refunded to you as a statement credit, and fee is even refunded to additional cardholders as well.
Then once you qualify for Global Entry, you will get a Trusted Traveler number on it and you can then log into your frequent flyer accounts and enter that information into your profile under “Known Traveler ID” and it should automatically register you for TSA PreCheck on reservations you make on each airline that participates when you fly through airports that have PreCheck.
If you have a Global Entry application coming up during the government shutdown, report back here on your experience!
For more information on Global Entry and the American Express Platinum Card reimbursement benefit, check out these posts: –Global Entry FAQ And Ways To Get It For Free
–My Experience Getting Refunded for Global Entry Using My Amex Platinum Card
–Top 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Global Entry
–My Father’s Day Present – An Additional Amex Platinum Card For Dad
–Getting Around the Global Entry Appointment Backlog
–Global Entry Rocks My World
–Global Entry Fee Now Waived for Amex Platinum Card Members