YOUR MONEY-Is it worth $100 to skip airport security lines?

Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:00am EDT
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(The author is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Mitch Lipka

June 26 (Reuters) - Benet Wilson is one of the 2.5 million Americans who have paid a yearly fee to skip security lines at airports and thinks it's worth every penny she paid for a five-year membership in the Global Entry program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department.

"It's a beautiful thing," says the 50-year-old frequent flier, who writes the blog.

Earlier in June, Wilson was traveling back to Washington Dulles International Airport from a conference in Qatar, and walked right past an enormous customs line that had a wait time of nearly an hour.

Instead, she was in a car on her way home about 40 minutes after her plane touched down.

The value of spending $100 for Global Entry comes down to how often you fly. Adding $100 per person plus the application time and in-person interviews probably is not worth it for a one-time family vacation to Europe.

But those who frequently travel abroad say participation pays off. As an added benefit, participants also have a better chance to minimize security delays on domestic flights.