The new Global Entry program allows frequent travelers to pass through immigration and customs at the airport at a faster pace. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Now air travelers can keep their shoes on and their sanity in check at the airport. The Global Entry program allows low-risk, pre-screened international travelers to get through customs and immigration in about five minutes.
Its affiliated Transportation Security Administration pre-check lets travelers fly through security by keeping shoes, jackets and belts on, as well as laptops and toiletries in their bags.
"It gives us the opportunity to redirect our resources to that flow that we know little about," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar.
To increase its ranks, Global Entry is now getting an extra push from the travel industry. Loews Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel brand to collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security to encourage membership.
"Our nations' security and our prosperity are not just linked, they depend on each other," says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
As part of this public-private sector initiative, Loews is offering to cover the $100, five-year Global Entry membership fee for its most loyal guests.
"We have a frequent travel program called YouFirst. We are offering this to our platinum, top YouFirst customers," says Loews Hotels & Resorts CEO and President Paul Whetsell.
There is support from both sides for this program to expand.
"As we speak now, we have our officers going out in the travel industry and recruiting not only the hotels but anything affiliated that will help us grow this program to give us greater control over the flow of travelers coming into the country," says Aguilar.
"We encourage the hotel companies that we compete against to get into this program because we are believers in travel," says Loews Hotel & Resorts Chairman Jonathan Tisch.
Loews Platinum YouFirst Members will be receiving an email outlining the program and have 60 days to sign up.