I arrived in New York after a six hour flight from Iceland. Iceland Air dropped us at a strange terminal I’d never seen at JFK. The ceilings were low and you could tell this was the “ghetto” terminal. Several high capacity planes had landed—the kind that unload 300+ passengers in under ten minutes…and everyone rushed for the immigration line.
One hour passed. We still couldn’t see the end of the line as hundreds of people milled about the narrow passage way leading to the immigration area. Another hour passed. We’re still waiting and we haven’t collected our luggage yet.
Here’s how we cut the line once we realized we had other options.
Mobile Passport and Global Entry
We noticed there was no one in the mobile passport line. Mobile Passport is an application (available for iPhone and Android) that enables you to use your phone to get passed the first immigration checkpoint.
There were literally 3 other people in our line so we only waited 30 seconds. Meanwhile hundreds of people waited for an eternity for the old school immigration process to complete.
TSA Pre-Check and Clear
On the departure side of things there’s TSA pre-check and Clear. TSA pre-check enables you to go through a special line when entering the airport security zone. If you don’t have pre-check then