Smart talk mobile

Mobile passport available for your travel needs

When our government does something good, I never understand why it’s kept so secret!

Because many of you will be leaving the country in the next few months, I wanted to make sure you didn’t leave town without this tip from travel agent 101 of the day: MOBILE PASSPORT is back in business in most airports. . So that means when you return to the United States after your international trip, look for it!

Customs Border Protection Passport Control Mobile App is the official name, but to shorten a long name, search for the acronym MPC in your phone’s Apple and Google app store. Designed to avoid long lines at customs and get you to your next flight quickly, MPC is a free government program located at most international airports and cruise ports in the United States. All you have to do is search for the immigration line with the fewest travelers, and I bet you found it.

This newly renamed app is now run by Customs and Border Protection, but it works like the pre-covid private app, and it’s really simple to use. Simply download the MPB app, open it as soon as you land in the US and have a Wi-Fi connection, then follow the instructions.

I might suggest creating a profile before leaving the United States for each traveler. One good thing about this government-owned app is that it allows you to keep this profile information without paying extra. Your profile consists of some very basic personal information and your passport data. While your plane is taxiing to your international terminal, open the app, answer a few simple questions, such as selecting your arrival airport or sea terminal and typical questions related to immigration inspection, take a selfie and click submit. Within seconds, a quick email response, or QR code receipt, will appear on your phone indicating you’re good to go.

Once inside the immigration terminal, search for the Mobile Passport line, show your physical passport and the QR code receipt in your phone to the CBP MOBILE APP agent, and your entry into the United States is official. That’s all there is to it, folks, and yes, you can thank me for that information by calling Monroe Travel Service the next time you plan to leave the country, whether it’s Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, or Asia.

Mobile Passport hotlines are located at the following international airports: DFW, Houston, Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington Dulles. Unfortunately, Atlanta is about the only major hub city often used by travelers in the region that doesn’t yet offer this service.

Global Entry, which costs $100 for a five-year subscription, is probably still your best bet for getting through customs in Atlanta faster. Still, because the mobile passport is free and doesn’t require you to apply or wait around 120 days to receive Global Entry approval, I think the CBP MPB is a smart way to go. To be honest, the only complaint I’ve heard from one of our Monroe Travel Service travelers who frequently use the app is with the signage; it is not always consistent in design and decoration from one airport to another. This makes the MPB service line often difficult to spot.

Let me share a quick travel story of why I think the app is worth downloading. Guests returning from a wonderful Rhine cruise were heading home via Washington Dulles Airport a few weeks ago when their United Airlines pilot announced that weather delays had created 2-3 hour wait times in the immigration hall. In fact, the concourse was so full that the plane’s transport bus waited another twenty-five minutes on the tarmac before delivering them to the terminal. Needless to say, they desperately feared missing their connection to Monroe.

Fortunately, these clients had listened to me. They had used the MPB app and joined the Mobile Passport line in the immigration hall with another person. They were cleared in less than 5 minutes! Do not hesitate. Download it now, because, let’s be honest. After spending several hours in a silver tube in the air, enduring long custom queues isn’t the “welcome home” experience any of us want.

If there’s an app for it – and a better way to do it – why not give it a try?

Dianne Newcomer is a travel agent at MONROE TRAVEL SERVICE. For your next cruise, excursion or resort vacation, please call 318 323 3465 or email us at [email protected]