App, great; Airport (EWR) ridiculous
The app was easy to use. I quickly set up the info for myself and family member. At the airport, at customs I saw signs about downloading the app, however there was nothing to indicate what line to go to. I asked one airport employee (at customs) who didn’t know what I was talking about. So we were waiting in the very long and slow line. I asked another employee who said, “Oh right over there; you don’t have to wait here.” She was pointing to a booth with a customs official with no line at all. I looked all around thinking I may have missed a sign. There was nothing to indicate this booth was for mobile passport. I was not the only traveler looking for this booth.
Next we go to get our luggage and exiting, we once again have to show the officials the “paper” showing we went through customs. Having used the mobile app we don’t have the paper. Again we wait, get to the official who, talking to me as though I’m stupid, says, “You used the app; you go over there,” pointing to another official standing at another podium. I look all around; nothing to indicate he was the official to handle mobile app. Newark Liberty is a very busy airport. I realize it will always be a bit crazy, but you’d think they would put signage that could help direct people.
Almost too easy
I had first heard of this app while returning from a trip overseas last December, after hearing a guy on a train at Denver airport talk about how easily he made it through customs (meanwhile my boyfriend and I suffered for approximately 50 mins). I vowed to try it the next time I went abroad. Lo and behold, came back from a trip yesterday. I had previously downloaded the app, but forgot about it until I was checking out of my accommodation. In about 2 mins I was able to scan my passport, take a selfie (keeping a neutral face was the hardest part), ensure auto-populated info was correct (I did have to slightly alter my name), and that was that. Once I landed at Newark, the flight attended made an announcement that “if you have the mobile passport app, you can now complete the questionnaire and follow prompts” which was a nice reminder. You simply answer the questions you normally would have completed on paper, and then look for line indicating “mobile passport” upon arrival at border patrol. I was through the line in less than 10 mins. Had I waited in normal line, it certainly would have been closer to 30-40 mins. If I didn’t have a checked bag, I could easily have been out of airport in 15 mins. I will never travel without the mobile passport again!
So glad I found this app!!
Used the app to clear immigration for the whole family (mom, Dad, grandpa and two kids) on our way back from London into Newark. There was NO LINE and we zipped through. You can’t imagine how grateful I was, having just sat on the tarmac for an hour before finally getting in at 10;15 at night with two cart cranky little ones, not to be hearses into the long twisting line and instead went right through the completely empty global entry area - and from there kindly directed through the process by very helpful CBP staff. It was easy to set up (scanned our passports and took photos before we left), and easy to use. Interesting note - I tried to hit submit while we were still on the plane, but it wouldn’t work. I nearly lost all hope but when we got into the terminal and I managed to hit submit again it went through very quickly. Did I mention NO LINE at immigration?? Amazing. My only (minor) negative comment is that we had to rescan each of our 5 receipts upon exiting customs (which was not expected and took a few extra minutes). There was a bit of time lost figuring this out but I think not a big deal once you've done it once. Overall I had a very positive experience and would highflying recommend the app.
Port Everglades Pier 18 Unorganized!
By Disappointed theatre dork
For the first time we tried to use the Mobile Pass to bypass the long lines and expedite check out at US Customs. While waiting for our baggage tag number to be called while still on the ship, we logged into the app, answered the questions, submitted the information and received our confirmation. After we picked up our luggage we followed the signs for the Mobile Pass and were let into a separate line that led to 2 Mobile Pass Lines. While in line we found several parties that did not have the Mobile Pass which explained why it was taking so long. The representatives that were directing people into open Custom Lines kept sending regular passengers into the Mobile Lines. When we got to the front of our line the lady told us to go to a different line and we told her we had Mobile Pass and she said it didn’t matter and to just go where she told us (she was a bit rude about it). So we did and when we got to the Line we asked the lady at that line if they could scan the Mobile Pass and she said she didn’t know. We got up to the Agent and he said he didn’t have a scanner and just checked our regular passports and we finally finished.
I think this is a great idea, but the process did not work and the employees working the lines had no idea how it was supposed to work either. They just wanted to get people thru the lines as fast as possible.
I gave this 1 star because there isn’t an option for no stars.
Amazing how fast this got us through customs!!!
We had a short connection and this app saved us! I saw the video on the plane explaining the process, I downloaded the app as soon as we hit the runway, by the time we were deplaning, I had all 3 passports scanned into the app and we were walking to immigration/customs! At immigration, there must have been a line an hour long, we used the app and made it through in under 5 minutes. Clear signs explained where to go, helpful employees asked to see the passports, in the app, and through we went. Gathered our bags, and headed to customs. 3 quick scans of our QR codes, provided by the app, and we were through customs. All in all the process took about 30 min, the majority being waiting for luggage and a 5-10 min wait in line at customs.
I’d recommend this app to anyone and everyone... shh don’t tell a soul, so I can sneak through customs this fast every time!! (Here’s the cherry on top... my wife said, after we made our short connecting flight, “I was quite upset that you were trying this new app last minute and was certain it wasn’t going to work. I will say I’m sorry that I doubted you. It allowed us to make this flight.”)
I used Mobile Passport Control for the first time on Aug 11th when I connected through ATL for a flight. With an international airport of this size, the immigration and customs area was completely packed with people. There were hundreds of people waiting on line and although my flight was 2 hours away I was concerned that I would run close to my boarding time. I spoke to one of the airport agents about my concern and they suggested the app. I had previously downloaded and setup the app months ago so I was happy to hear that it would shave an hour off my wait time on the line. I quickly processed the info for my current trip and then proceeded to join the line. To my surprise and delight, there was absolutely NO ONE on the Mobile Passport Control line so I was able to walk all the way through the line and right to the front. As I walked by, I was amazed that none of the hundreds of people seemed remotely aware about this app. As a person who travels fairly frequently - and with travel anxiety - I was delighted that the app was so efficient and successful for this task. I’ve recommended that my friends download it because it’s such a no-brainer to have it!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
Great App, Signage Needs Improvement
This application works extremely well. We have reentered the country several times using it, and I've been impressed with it every time. Tonight, we entered through KIAH (our home port) from Heathrow, and had no problems. The app allowed us to pass enormous lines and proceed through the process with no difficulty at all.
I would say, though, that the signage is poor. We knew what to look for and knew it was possible, so we were able to find the signs and correct line. If we hadn't known exactly what to look for, though, we would have been lost. It was almost as if it was intended that we not be able to find the one and only "bypass" line -- as if it was almost intentionally hidden. This is not an app issue, but if the intent is to help more travelers, better signage would help a lot. I'd call this a well kept secret that we personally benefit from -- but I don't really think that is what is intended.
That aside, kudos to the designers. The app is simple, easy to use, and has never crashed on me. I would never return to the country without using it. I hope it lets CBP better focus its resources where they are needed...
If I could give it a negative I would
By Okay for 2.99
This was probably the worst experience of my life at any customs in any country, and I was traveling from a third world country. ATL needs to get their stuff together. We waited in that line for almost 2 hours with probably less than 20/30 people in front of me. What they don’t tell you is that if you start the mobile process, you can no longer get out of line and go to the regular which seemed to go by faster. When we complained to some of the CBH agents, the lady said that it was because it also served people in wheelchairs. There were almost no wheelchair people going by, that was such a ridiculous excuse. After the entire line got fed up and yelled at one of the agents, she came back and pulled everyone starting from a random spot in the middle and took them to a new line. All of us that were waiting in the very front for literally hours watched as people who waited less than us got pushed to a new line. This caused me to miss TWO flights and ended up staying in Atlanta for the night. The regular lines for customs were even more unorganized and seemed never ending. The staff is completely lazy and slow. Do yourself a favor and don’t even travel to the US if you have to go through Atlanta, it’s that bad. And for the love of god, do not use this stupid app there. Not sure how it’s at other airports but not here. I will never fly Delta or through ATL ever again.
Saw signs for “mobile passport” at airport
I was flying in from LHR to SJC and whilst I was walking to customs I kept seeing signs for “Download Passport Mobile App” “Save Time.” So we literally were at the end of a long depressing what seemed like a never ending customs line (typical) and I rushingly started searching for the app on my App Store. To be honest there were like 2 or 3 passport apps I had no clue which one to download so I just decided to download the first one I saw that looked legit and had a high rating. Thank God it was the right one. A nice customs man saw what I was doing as I was the only one in line that had my phone out. He helped me through the whole process. It was the quickest thing EVER!! Took like a minute. I scanned my passport numbers in using the app and all my info came up and filled in the form by itself. I manually took a picture of myself using the app and answered 5 customs questions (the same ones on the form) and boom the nice guy said go to the mobile app line and we were the first ones there, got out of the airport in 5 minutes. Quickest customs ever. I HIGHLY recommend this app!!! Thanks San Jose Int AirPort for showing me a quicker way and avoiding ling boring lines.
Somewhat breeze through option
By Traveling Dave
I used the app last night for the first time after a nearly full flight from Frankfurt. As soon as we landed, I switched on cell service, opened the app, quickly completed all the steps and question responses, and submitted my information to the Customs and Border Patrol. Within a minute I received the electronic entrance pass. After disembarking and making my way towards customs, I saw signs for traveler categories to include Mobile Pass which I followed along with about 15 ahead of me. I found there was only 1 agent managing our line, about 10 agents for people without Mobile Pass, and 3 agents handling travelers that pay $100 for 5 years of the Global Security prescreen service. My line move slowly as I still needed to show a passport and the electronic mobile pass form. Then what bewildered me was the agent asked me questions about where I flew in from and if I was bringing in several different types of items. Why is it he is asking me those questions when I answered those questions and certified my answers through the app. No wonder my line was not moving fast. With 10 agents setup for the general line, I suspect it would have been swifter for me in the general line.