Kevin Foley, executive director of the Des Moines Airport Authority, says officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be interviewing people who’ve registered for what’s known as the Global Entry program. “They will have already done a background check on the individual, so when they come in to do the face-to-face, it’s about a 10-minute process,” Foley says. “They talk to them, they verify they are who they say they are, and then they give them their Known Traveler Number right there.”
Global Entry allows registered members to use the TSA Pre-Check line, as well as bypass passport control lines and paper customs declarations when traveling internationally. Folks who don’t come to Des Moines for the event would otherwise have to make the trek to Minneapolis or Chicago.
“We are the only station in Iowa that holds Global Entry events,” Foley says. “We have been holding one, on average, about every two months and they’re still filling on a regular basis. That tells us there’s still a fair amount of demand in the state of Iowa for people to get those Global Entry numbers.”
TSA Pre-Check costs $85 for a five-year membership. Global Entry is $15 more. Foley says if you travel just once a year, Pre-Check works out to $15 per round-trip flight, or just $7.50 each way.”For that $7.50, you don’t have to take your shoes off, you don’t have to take your coat off, you don’t have to pull your liquids out of your bag, you don’t have to pull your laptop out of your bag,” Foley says. “It speeds you through the process.”
Wait times in the Pre-Check line are typically less than five minutes, he says, a huge convenience for rushed travelers. The Global Entry event is being held at DSM today through Thursday. The next event is scheduled for June.