What’s the difference between Global Entry and just using the automated passport kiosks?

Great question! There are several important differences, but the biggest one is in the procedure and the amount of time saved. With the automated passport kiosks, which are available to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, you scan your passport, have your photo taken and digitally compared to the passport photo, answer questions on the screen, get a receipt, and then stand in line to see the official. He or she will pull up your file, review it, and then allow you to go to baggage claim. The time savings is 30-40 seconds per person. While this doesn’t make much difference to each individual, over the course of the day and thousands of people it makes a difference to the customs officials. With Global Entry you scan your passport and fingerprints, answer questions on the screen, get a receipt, and proceed to baggage claim. Unless your receipt has an “X” on it you get to skip the process of standing in line to talk to an official – and if you do have the “X” you get to go to the front of the line. Rather than saving 30-40 seconds, this can save you anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on the airport, time of day, and number of available officials. Global Entry also conveys membership in the TSA Pre-Check program which speeds you through the security process without removing laptop, liquids, or shoes.