All About the TSA’s Preclearance Program

Published Date Author: , January 30th, 2014

TSA PreThere’s been a bit of a stir this week concerning a new U.S. Customs facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is now offering preclearance for all U.S. citizens heading directly to the United States from Abu Dhabi. That means that U.S. citizens can pass through American customs before they arrive on American soil.

Though the UAE boasts one of the world’s most progressive economies, the new service has raised eyebrows among American pilots and certain members of Congress who believe that the new facility gives an unfair competitive advantage to Etihad Airways, which operates the only route between Abu Dhabi and the U.S.. Politics aside, preclearance is popular among American travelers, and for good reason. It helps them skip lengthy customs lines at home. And though it’s still only available at a few airports worldwide, here are the nuts and bolts of the program and how it can help you when you’re flying back home.

What is Preclearance? The CBP Preclearance program essentially inserts a cadre of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents inside an international airport. Once a U.S. citizen passes through that country’s own security lines, they are then allowed to pass through an additional security line — one manned by American agents. This procedure mimics the procedure used in U.S. airports, and allows the passenger to clear both security and customs before ever landing on U.S. soil. It requires an extra 10 to 20 minutes prior to take-off, but it allows flyers to skip massive immigration lines once they return home.

Authored By Darren Murph – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

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