Global Entry, which is an expedited immigration program, has revolutionized the international travel experience for me. I remember always dreading the end of my international flights not because I was sad to be evicted from a great first class product, but rather because I dreaded waiting in an immigration queue for an hour.
Global Entry eliminates the wait, the hassle, and the paperwork, which makes it totally awesome. But it’s actually creating it’s own problems by causing me to try and push my luck by booking less-than-legal connections for the airports at which I clear immigration.
For example, back in November I flew from Hong Kong to San Francisco and then San Francisco to Seattle on a separate ticket. I only left a 70 minute layover, while the minimum connection time for international to domestic connections at San Francisco is 105 minutes. I made my connection with no problem, and at no point felt uneasy about the decision.
Well, I’m faced with a bit more extreme of a situation in a few weeks and am wondering just how far I want to push my luck with Global Entry.
I’m scheduled to land in Chicago from an international flight and would love to make it back to Seattle the same night. The catch is that the last flight of the night to Seattle is only 40 minutes after I land. Assuming everything is on-time and I only have carry-ons I think I could make the connection. Then again I find international flights are often early, so it could be that I have plenty of time. Or maybe my inbound flight will be delayed, and I’ll be screwed.
But I guess I’m still not sure, because worst case scenario I miss the flight I booked and stand by the following morning.
So do you book the tight connection and ask for forgiveness later, or err on the side of caution? What’s your personal limit for how tight you’ll cut it with Global Entry?