Facial recognition for Global Entry gaining popularity

Facial recognition for Global Entry gaining popularity

Global Entry, a "trusted traveler" program run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, speeds up clearance of air passengers arriving from abroad, plus other perks.

Global Entry, a "trusted traveler" program run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, speeds up clearance of air passengers arriving from abroad, plus other perks. (Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press/TNS)

Global Entry has slowly but surely been getting a technological upgrade that is making the popular travel program even quicker to use at airports.

Facial recognition has been added to the Global Entry program at 15 airports in the U.S. and overseas, allowing international travelers to navigate reentry at a much faster pace.

Global Entry is a paid program - though relatively cheap at $100 for five years - monitored by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for preapproved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members, who are preapproved after a rigorous background check and in-person interview, then enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.

At airports, program members proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

Now, at a limited number of airports including Detroit, Miami, New York-JFK, Houston-Intercontinental, Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago-O'Hare, instead of getting your fingerprint scanned you can have your face scanned by facial recognition technology.

Global entry members can now scan their passport at a kiosk, have their picture taken, and give the printout to an agent to exit the airport or head to baggage claim.

The technology matches passengers' facial scans to pictures in government databases, such as passport or visa photos.

The program is also known as Simplified Arrival.


(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com)

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