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With the kids officially out of school, and the temperatures heating up in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you’re gearing up for yet another warm and exciting, action-packed Summer vacation, right?
As any frequent jet-setter will warn you, however, especially in light of airport security measures being implemented at unprecedented levels in recent months, actually getting on a plane to reach your destination is likely going to be quite the pain in the butt this year. In addition to ensuring that you arrive at the airport several hours ahead of time, and that your carry-on baggage is packed ever-so strategically, there’s also going to be a whole lot of waiting in line at customs to look forward to..
Or maybe not?
If you and/or the members of your family happen to be U.S. or Canadian citizens with a B1 or B2 passport, you’ll now be able to utilize the all-new U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorized iOS app — known as Mobile Passport, by Airside Mobile, LLC. — to submit your relevant information over the internet once you arrive at your destination.
Mobile Passport, in other words, will allow you to enter and submit the majority of pertinent information (and answers to questions) that would normally be asked by Customs and Border Protection agents when you’re trying to get back home, while jumping the line in the process.
By answering the questions and entering information ahead of time, international travelers will be given exclusive access to an expedited check-in line intended solely for Mobile Passport users.
And that exclusive access will definitely come in handy, according to AppleInsider. Speaking to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent affiliated with the Orlando International Airport (MCO), the agent indicated that, as of Thursday morning, the U.S. entry line was backed up — with an estimated 84 minute wait time. What’s more, the official indicated that, in comparison, there was inherently no line for Mobile Passport users, whatsoever, and that the longest he has ever seen that line reach is 5 people.
Using Mobile Passport on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 8.0 or later is simple, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. Profiles can be configured directly from the app, which will streamline the data entry process significantly.
Once your plane lands at its destination, you can then connect to a cellular or Wi-Fi network to instantly submit the information — and, within just minutes, a barcode will be sent to your device, allowing you and your family to skirt the line at your destination airport for up to 4 hours before the code expires.
Also, all the information is 100% encrypted, so only U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will have access to it.
Of course, with all things in life, there are just a few caveats to this system and its methodology. For starters, Mobile Passport, in and of itself, is not a substitute for your physical, printed passport.. You’ll still need to bring that with you to the airport, however, with Mobile Passport, you’ll be able to expedite your arrival, substantially, from completion to submission of information.
Also, Mobile Passport has yet to be deployed nationwide; and therefore, it’s currently only available at the following airports:
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
- Newark International Airport (EWR)
- New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Additionally, the following airports are advertised as “coming soon”:
- Raleigh Durham (RDU)
- Tampa (TPA)
- Washington Dulles (IAD)
Are you going to use mobile passport this summer? Let us know in the comments!