Britons offered chance to skip U.S. customs queues

Tue Nov 3, 2015 6:06am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it would let some British travelers skip passport and customs queues at its airports, in a bid to attract more visitors from the UK.

Britons will be able to sign up for the U.S. Global Entry scheme - where travelers seen as low-risk can register in advance and then pass through automatic kiosks to get into the country - U.S. Customers and Border Protection agency commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said.

There were no initial details on the start date for the program, announced at the World Travel Market show in London.

Travelers have to go through a background check and an interview before they can register, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's website. Global Entry is already used by Canadians and Mexicans.

The number of Britons arriving in the U.S. rose 3.6 percent to 3.97 million in 2014, out of a total of 75 million international visitors, according to U.S. data.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Travelers speak with a customer service agent at Terminal D after a power outage affected sections of Terminal C at LaGuardia International Airport in New York July 24, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton