Air Travel News
Some airports add expedited arrivals processing
One of the biggest hassles of international travel—long lines at the airport of entry—is the target of new processing procedures being put into place at airports in Texas and in Australia. And a bill moving through the U.S. Congress could save even more time for arriving travelers.
At Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport, a new program lets international arriving passengers save considerable waiting time if they only have carry-on luggage. Under Customs and Border Protection’s new One-Stop program at IAH, carry-on-only travelers still have to go through immigration inspection after deplaning, but then they can proceed to a newly constructed special exit that lets them bypass another line for passengers picking up checked luggage.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the new One-Stop option is saving travelers an average of 17 minutes compared with the two-stop procedure. The new procedure is separate from the Global Entry program, and participants do not have to register or pay a fee to take advantage of it.
Meanwhile, Americans traveling to Australia who belong to the U.S. Global Entry program and who have a newer passport equipped with a data chip can now take part in a trial that lets them enter the country faster.
At airports in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, participants can swipe their passports in a reader, collect a paper receipt, and insert the receipt into a computerized gate. Then they’ll get a facial recognition scan and the gate should open to admit them to the baggage collection area.
And the U.S. Senate has passed legislation that would end the required re-screening of checked luggage for inbound connecting passengers from some international flights. The second bag screening wouldn’t be needed if the flight originates from an airport in a nation that has a security pre-clearance agreement with the U.S. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.