Savvy international travelers flying into the Bay Area began zipping through customs inspection Monday at San Francisco International Airport with the aid of a federal government program.
The Department of Homeland Security opened its Global Entry kiosks at the airport, one of 13 airports nationwide to receive funding for the timesaving program. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection pilot program allows preapproved members to bypass the typical customs process when arriving at a U.S. airport.
Passengers can sign up ahead of time by submitting an online application, then provide digital fingerprints and complete an interview at a participating airport.
If approved, international travelers can then insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into an airport kiosk, provide a digital fingerprint, answer customs declaration questions on a touch screen and give their receipt to a border protection officer.