Why You Should Get
a Mobile Passport

And downloading it today helps victims of Hurricane Dorian

Filling out customs forms on the plane

At the airport, you've likely seen signs for “mobile passport” before. But you, like the rest of us, were probably confused as to what exactly that meant. Can you actually leave your physical passport at home and just scan your phone? Well, not exactly. But that doesn't mean it's not extremely handy. In fact, Afar called it “the best-kept secret among travelers who fly internationally.”

The Mobile Passport app, developed by Airside Mobile with Airports Council-North America and US Customs and Border Protection, lets customers skip the long line and breeze through customs and immigration. The moment you land at your destination, you can answer the required trip and declarations questions on the app. That means you no longer need a pen or have to fill out arrival forms on the plane. Mobile Passport allows you to skip the long lines and head straight to passport review and move through the Customs checkpoint quickly and easily.

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Unlike Global Entry, which comes with TSA Pre-Check but costs $100 for a five-year membership, Mobile Passport is completely free and there's also no application or interview process—you can download the app and register in seconds. It works by creating a QR code (after you've submitted your form) that you show the immigration officer. Because Mobile Passport users have a dedicated lane in most participating airports, the process tends to go very quickly. While a traveler with Global Entry is tapping away at a kiosk, you'll already be scanning your mobile device with an officer and heading to baggage claim.

What's more, today is the day to download it too, because in honor of World Tourism Day, Mobile Passport plus, the premium version of the app, is being made available for $10 instead of the usual $14.99. The upgrade includes an encrypted document scanner that will scan and store your passport profile so you don't have to re-enter your information every time you come back into the country. As an added bonus: $5 of that $10 will be donated to a Hurricane Dorian disaster recovery fund by Tourism Cares, a nonprofit focused on helping to restore tourism resources in impacted destinations.

United States passports

FYI

The color of an American passport designates the type of traveler. Diplomats have a black cover while government officials and workers have brown or grey, respectively. Us mere mortals have the classic blue.

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