New program helps you make your connection at airport

by Efficient Traveler on December 18, 2010

One of the biggest causes of anxiety for the Efficient Traveler (or any airline passenger for that matter) is making a tight connection. There are several ways of ensuring you make your connections by booking flights with at least an hour connection, and by knowing your connecting airport layout. For example, if you are connecting from a large jet to a regional jet, be prepared to connect to another terminal. And of course, non-stops and true ‘direct’ flights are helpful.

You should plan on at least 1.5 to 2 hour connections for international flights returning to the USA: this gives you time to clear immigration and customs, re-check your bag, and go through security again. However, the Efficient Traveler never checks baggage and uses the Global Entry program when returning to the country, speeding through the process. By swiping my passport, I can by-pass the long customs lines.

I was interested to see an article on a new program run by Customs and Border protection that helps passengers make their tight connections at O’Hare airport.  It’s a free program run by the feds that tags people with tight connections and gets them quickly to their gates through special lines. While I haven’t used the system personally (The Efficient Traveler avoids O’Hare), I thought it was a great idea! It will help passengers and airlines by saving them lost money on re-booking. Frequent Fliers should love this program!

The TSA should take a lesson from Customs and Border protection. I dont know if they are working together, but it seems CBP is much more efficient and forward-thinking. It would be great to have a “Global Entry” program for all airport check-ins for those of us Frequent Fliers that have gone through the security verification process. But again, that would make too much sense, wouldn’t it?

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