Streamlining International Travel: How Technology is Changing the Game

As international travel picks up post-pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is leveraging technology to process the influx of passengers efficiently and swiftly.

Revolutionizing the Travel Experience

Imagine stepping off a long-haul flight, jet-lagged and eager to reach your final destination, only to be greeted by a serpentine line at passport control. The frustration and exhaustion can be overwhelming. But what if I told you there's a way to bypass those lengthy queues and glide through the airport like a seasoned traveler?

Well, for the De Staercke family from Belgium, this dream became a reality on their recent trip to the United States. Armed with the Mobile Passport Control app, they effortlessly breezed past the crowds at Washington Dulles International Airport, leaving behind the chaos of conventional passport screening.

The Reader's Guide

"It was always a long row," shared Piet De Staercke, reflecting on his previous experiences with passport screening. "We were a bit scared. But now with the app, it's amazing." This anecdote is just one example of how technology is reshaping the landscape of international travel, making the process smoother and more efficient for passengers.

The Impact of Technology on Travel

As the world slowly emerges from the shadows of the pandemic, travel has witnessed a resurgence, with more people embarking on journeys near and far. With events like the upcoming Olympics in Paris and the allure of summer holidays beckoning, the influx of international travelers shows no signs of slowing down.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been at the forefront of this transformation, harnessing the power of technology to streamline the movement of passengers through airports. In fiscal year 2023, the agency processed over 394 million travelers at ports of entry, marking a 24% increase from the previous year.

These statistics highlight the efficacy of technology in expediting the customs and passport control process, ensuring a seamless experience for passengers.

Embracing App-Based Solutions

One of the key innovations driving this change is the Mobile Passport Control app, a game-changer for frequent international travelers. Originally launched in 2021, the app allows U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, select Canadians, and travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries to expedite their entry into the U.S.

Passengers simply upload their photos and information to the app, enabling CBP officers to seamlessly process their entry. By leveraging technology, the app minimizes wait times and enhances the overall travel experience for passengers and their families.

Additionally, CBP introduced a dedicated app for Global Entry passengers, further simplifying the customs and passport control process for trusted travelers. With a record 3.2 million applications for Global Entry last year, the agency is committed to improving the efficiency of application processing and appointment scheduling.

Anticipating Future Innovations

Looking ahead, CBP is exploring new advancements to enhance the travel experience for passengers. By the end of summer, E-Gates will be introduced at airports, allowing Global Entry users to bypass traditional customs booths and expedite their entry process.

Furthermore, the agency is investigating smart queuing technology, which assigns passengers to specific lines based on their pre-entered information. These innovations not only streamline the customs process but also prioritize passenger convenience and efficiency.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of international travel, one thing is clear: technology is the driving force behind a smoother, more efficient experience for passengers worldwide.

Fateh Muhammad

Hey, I'm Fateh Muhammad, a Lahore local with a passion for arts and politics. My journey led me through the halls of the National College of Arts, where I delved into the intricacies of both disciplines. Now calling Lahore home, I'm here to share my insights and perspectives on the dynamic intersection of art and politics. Let's embark on this enlightening journey together! Connect With Me .