If you weren’t aware, the Department of Homeland Security has run a preclearance program for travelers entering the U.S. from international locations since 1952. Beginning in Toronto, the program has since grown to include 15 airports in six foreign countries. The program aims to cut down on Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wait times once passengers have arrived on U.S. soil by clearing them before they board the plane to America.
And now CBP announced that they plan on expanding the program to include 11 more foreign airports to the list of places where passengers — both Americans and international fliers — can go through extra security so that they can skip the Customs line altogether once they arrive in the U.S.
— CBP (@CustomsBorder) November 8, 2016
If you’ve traveled internationally recently, then you know this is an amazing announcement — lines to get through Customs can take up to an hour and makes catching a connecting flight super stressful. The Department of Homeland Security want to make long lines a thing of the past, and their estimates show that within the next seven years about 33% of international fliers could be precleared and able to skip the Customs line.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) November 4, 2016
Can we get a woo-hoo?
The airports that are expected to join the partnership are major hubs like London Heathrow, Tokyo’s Narita, Amsterdam Schiphol, and others in Europe and South America. The wait list is expected to be sorted through and approved within the next seven years.
‘Till then, don’t forget to eat the orange you bought at the airport abroad.