When we landed in Miami last week we were dreading the hour (to two hour) wait to get through Immigration. We were pleasantly surprised to see a new system in place. They now have automated kiosk that really speed up the Immigration process.
So far four airports have these new kiosks: Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International, New York-JFK International Airport and Miami International Airport.
How it works:
You scan your passport, confirm your flight information is correct, answer a few questions about what you are bringing back into the country and then a camera snaps your photo. My guess is they are using facial recognition software to match the passport photo to the person. A receipt with your photo is printed and you proceed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, who then speaks with you and proceeds to stamp your passport.
We were fortunate enough to be flagged so my husband received a nice X over his slip. When this happens you are redirected to another line where you must go through a more thorough examination. Nothing too painful, just another line. I wasn’t flagged but they still allowed me to go with him so we weren’t separated. The entire process took about another 15 minutes.
Once you claim your luggage, you hand the receipt to the agent and the process is complete. Sort of a pain if you have a connecting flight because you need to check your luggage in again but not too bad.
Frequent International Traveler?
You can also sign up for an Global Entry account which means you can use the kiosk before you reach Immigration to speed up the process even more. You can go here to sign up and learn more.
You can learn more about the Global Entry Program here. Kudos to the govt – this is a much better system!
Photo Source: GoKiosk