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Global Entry flyers will speed through some airports even faster now

If you’ve visited a Global Entry kiosk in the last year or so, you may have noticed the technology is getting savvier. Kiosks can now verify your identity with a facial scan — no passport or fingerprint check necessary. Now, some U.S. airports are going a step further. Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection …

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If you’ve been to a Global Entry kiosk recently, you might have noticed that the technology is improving. Now, facial scans can serve as identity checks at kiosks in place of passport or fingerprint checks. Now, a few American airports are taking things a step further.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection stated last week that the two largest international airports in Texas, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), would be the latest to eliminate paper receipts in addition to the biometric scan.

When you arrive at a kiosk in the customs hall, the new – or at least updated – procedure will validate your identity using a facial scan. The kiosk will thereafter not print a receipt for you to present to the customs officers, in contrast to past versions of the procedure. Instead, all you need to do is provide your passport.

CBP has already implemented this expedited procedure at 10 U.S. airports, and more are anticipated by the end of the month.

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According to CBP, this is a move away from physical interaction points and environmental effect and toward efficiency.

If you’ve recently used a Global Entry kiosk, this might sound quite familiar to you.

As previously known, CBP has been adding facial recognition technology to its kiosks at foreign airports over the past year or so in an effort to speed up the process of validating travelers’ identities once they arrive in the United States. Similar to what Clear members go through when they arrive at a kiosk before passing through an airport security checkpoint, the procedure is similar to that.

This technology is now available at all international airports with Global Entry, CBP confirmed to TPG on Monday.

In May, while I was landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), I used the technology for the first time. I was shocked to walk up to the scanner, have my photo taken, and have my identification validated without having to scan my passport because I hadn’t heard of this screening capacity. The procedure was complete when the machine printed out a receipt with an old photo of me from when I first joined the program in 2018.

It may have taken 15 to 20 seconds to complete the process.

The receipt will no longer be given to passengers at DFW, IAH, or any of the other 8 airports.

As part of a bigger effort to update the Global Entry program, which the agency told TPG last spring comprises around 80% of the 10 million+ members in its Trusted Traveler Programs, CBP sees this as the “next level” in improving facial biometric terminals.

The organization intends to eliminate paper use at its Global Entry locations in Atlanta and Chicago, as well as its Aruba preclearance locations, this month.

To sum up

Even for Global Entry members who already have a streamlined experience at the passport check counter, the CBP appears to be always looking for methods to speed up the screening procedure. This is undoubtedly good news for tourists, as the number of people traveling abroad this summer has increased to levels not seen in a few years.

Information on Global Entry:

By James Tourtellotte/CBP, featured image.

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