Have you ever given any thought to exactly how much time you spend waiting in line? Unfortunately, waiting in line is all just part and parcel of flying on airplanes.
First, there's the ticketing line to wait in, followed by the security line. There's a line to get on the plane, then once you land there's the line to get off the plane. If you checked bags, there's a line for that. Worse, if you're traveling abroad, there's the customs line.
Good news. International travelers can skip the line at U.S. customs lines thanks to the official app from U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Mobile Passport.
Lines can be a thing of the past
Think of Mobile Passport as a replacement for the paper declaration form required for anyone coming into the United States. All you need to do is set up your profile, answer questions about your trip, then submit your data to Customs and Border Protection.
Next, you'll receive a receipt, which you will need to take to the Mobile Passport Control lines at the airport. Show the officers your passport and the barcode on your receipt and you're all set.
Also helpful is how once your profile is set up, it can be re-used for future trips. Perhaps best of all, you will not have to track down a pen or paper form in order to get into the country.
So yes, you will still need to go through customs, but having this app speeds up the process.
If you're worried about your information falling into the wrong hands, you have the ability to delete your profile after your trip.
It's also important to note that not every airport has Mobile Passport Control lines. Here are the cities that do: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Houston Hobby, Miami, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York JFK, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh Durham, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa and Washington Dulles.
Want more awesome travel tips? Sign up for Kim's Travel newsletter.