Several weeks ago, at the suggestion of one of my best friends, I applied for the Global Entry frequent travelers program. It allows those who regularly fly domestically or internationally to bypass long security lines and go straight to a special, shorter line and keep on walking with shoes and coat on and with liquids and laptop remaining neatly in your bag. Like some kind of famous person.
And really, who wouldn't want to feel that special when they travel?!?
After filling out the required paperwork online and waiting for my pre-approval to come through, I was instructed to schedule my in-person interview at the airport. Dressed in a subtle "elegant world traveler" kind of outfit (dark denim jeans, black silk blouse, pointy-toed flats and Burberry trench), I arrived at the tiny office to find it was already packed out at 9:30am. In the morning.
Apparently half the city of Chicago thought earlier was better too.
They called my name and my personal officer (okay, so maybe he was just the officer on duty, but for the sake of my story, lets just call him that), anyways...
"Officer Lew" asked to see my personal documents. Passport? Check. Drivers License? You got it. Official letter. Right here. Oh, you won't be needing my PADI Scuba Diver card, original social security card, birth certificate, parents birth certificates, baby photos, or resume, today???
Not a problem, I just like to be prepared.
Then I was photographed (I do believe that he could have cared a "little" but more about how my hairs looked) and fingerprinted. Officer Lew complimented me on my fingerprints, which may just be the strangest and also best compliment I've ever received. He went over how the everything works and then welcomed me to the Global Entry program.
And just in time.
I leave for Europe in nine days!