It never fails. The excitement of travel and visiting new places eventually gives way to eager anticipation of returning home. Even for die-hard travelers like our Inspiration Cruises & Tours team members, there’s something wonderful about returning home and stepping back onto U.S. soil. (Or, at least, stepping into the terminal of an international American airport.)
Unfortunately, the process of returning home comes to a screeching halt upon encountering the typically long lines at Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recently unveiled a way to reduce this wait by authorizing the first mobile CBP app. It’s called Mobile Passport Control, and allows eligible travelers to streamline the traveler inspection process with their smartphone or tablet while reducing administrative functions for CBP officers.
Once you open the secure app, you’ll be prompted to create a profile and submit your passport information. Upon landing in the United States, open the app and fill out information about your trip—including your arrival airport and airline. Next, take a selfie and answer the CBP inspection-related questions instead of filling out the paper declaration form. Once you submit this information, you’ll get an electronic receipt with a QR code.
Take your passport and mobile device—including your digital code—to a CBP officer to finalize your entry into the U.S. Typically, the following airports offer a separate expedited line for citizens using the app:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- William P. Hobby Houston International Airport (HOU)
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Miami Seaport
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Palm Beach Seaport (PBI)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
- Port Everglades (PEV)
- Portland International Airport (PDX)
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
- San Diego International Airport (SAN)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The app significantly speeds up entry to the United States by providing a streamlined system, only accessible to those with the Mobile Passport App.
Many of the flights returning from an Inspiration Cruises & Tours event, enter the United States in one of the airports approved for the app. This saves significant time for app users, allowing them to bypass the long line everyone else is waiting in. For the traveler eager to return home, every minute saved brings them closer to stepping through their front door.
U.S. and Canadian citizens are eligible to use the app, as are family members—profiles are created under a household, allowing you to submit a single entry-transaction that includes all family members traveling with you.
Mobile Passport is currently the only mobile app officially authorized by CBP, but there are other technological advances, like this one by Delta, making traveling simpler and efficient.
Have you used it? If so, let us know what you thought.