Has Global Entry Made Me a Bad Friend?
In May I obtained Global Entry and it has changed my life for the better and the worse.
I qualified for Global Entry on my way to Easter Island and was able to use it 3 days later when I returned. The lines in Miami were 200 deep for non-residents and at least 50 people long for US citizens. Global Entry however, was completely empty and 15 minutes after deplaning, I was going through customs. Life has been good ever since.
Except when traveling with friends who don’t have it.
I felt most guilty coming back from my vacation in Asia. The friend I was flying with did not have Global Entry. I had a slightly tight connection, she had a longish layover. So I gave her big hugs and left her in the immigration line. 10 minutes later I was collecting my luggage and headed off to recheck it, guaranteed to make my flight (which wound up departing an hour late). I did feel bad, but rationalized she was based on the west coast and only had an hour flight longer to get home (vs my 5 hr flight).
And because Global Entry also equals = TSA pre-check, I feel guilty on regular basis during domestic trips. I probably should be willing to stand in the normal security lines with friends, but not having to take off all my clothes and opt-out is just too appealing.
Jeanne doesn’t have pre-check quite yet. That’s led to some awkward situations in LAX and other airports. I don’t want to have to opt out, so I go through pre-check and wait for her. Often up to 20 minutes. I feel guilty, but not guilty enough to forgo the extra freedom.
Still, it’s tough to know what the “right” thing to do is, or even what others expectations are. I would be slightly wistful but not resentful if one of my traveling companions could get through more quickly even if I couldn’t. At the least they won’t be ahead of me holding up my lane.
What do you think? What is the right etiquette when traveling with non-Global Entry/non-TSA Pre check friends?
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