Returning from Africa recently, I had a most surprising and enjoyable experience at Washington Dulles airport; so remarkable, in fact, I believe every traveling hunter should be aware of this new opportunity.
Most international hunters are aware of the difficulties of travel today, especially when transporting firearms. And though some foreign countries have strict immigration requirements, the most difficult international border to cross is often on our return trip home, right here in the USA. US Customs and Border Protection is tasked with screening out the bad guys from the 1.1 million people who enter the US each day, so customs requirements are stringent, and rightly so. But they are time-consuming as well. However, for frequent (and even occasional) international travelers who can demonstrate they pose no security risk, a new program has been implemented that allows participants to bypass the long lines, and proceed directly to baggage claim and an expedited exit from the customs area.
In 2009, US Customs and Border Protection introduced a program called Global Entry, or GOES. Like a "fast-pass" at those big amusement parks, GOES clearance allows the participant to skip, not just to the front of the line, but to bypass the line all together, and go directly to a GOES kiosk that will clear the traveler through customs. The airport procedure is that fast only because the GOES participant must jump through a few fairly substantial hoops to become part of the program.
The first step is to make the initial application at https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/. A $100 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application. If the applicant passes a rigorous background check, then a conditional........(continued)