Flying to the US From Canada or Mexico? Get to the Airport Early!

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Traveling from Canada or Mexico to the US?  You might want to show up to the airport even earlier than usual.

One Mile at a Time reports travelers to the US from these countries will be subject to enhanced security measures, starting today, July 19, 2017.

While the US Department of Homeland Security hasn’t provided specifics, they mentioned increasing security personnel in passenger areas, taking extra care in screening electronic devices, enhancing passenger screening, and more.

Which essentially means security lines will likely be longer!

Flying To The US From Canada Or Mexico Get To The Airport Early
Starting Today, July 19, 2017, There Will Be Enhanced Security Measures at Airports in Mexico and Canada That Operate Outbound Flights to the US

Here’s more about this news.  And what it means for you!

Enhanced Security for Flights From Canada and Mexico to the US

Just last week I let y’all know that the electronics ban on flights from the Middle East and North Africa had been lifted on all but 1 airline.  And that final airline (Saudia) was recently removed from the list.  So the electronics ban is completely gone!

That said, the US Department of Homeland Security is now requiring that airports in Canada and Mexico, that offer outbound flights to the US, comply with certain enhanced security measures.

For this reason, I’d suggest that folks flying to the US from either of these countries get to the airport especially early.  Because security lines will probably be longer than usual.  And I’d expect closer inspection of your electronics, including laptops, tablets, and cameras.

Flying To The US From Canada Or Mexico Get To The Airport Early
With These Enhanced Security Measures, It’s Likely the Folks at Security Will Take an Extra Close Look at Your Fancy Electronics

How to Save Time Through Security

If you’re traveling from Canada and have NEXUS or Global Entry, you and your travel companions can access the “Trusted Traveler” lanes at certain airports.  This system is similar to TSA PreCheck, but you’re still required to take out your laptop.

Canadian airports with “Trusted Traveler” security lanes include:

  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Halifax
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg

Million Mile Secrets team member Jasmin recently flew from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Cuba, and was able to use her Global Entry card to access the shorter security line.  It saved her and her family at least 30 minutes because they didn’t have to wait in the painfully long regular security line.

Flying To The US From Canada Or Mexico Get To The Airport Early
Waiting in Line Is No Fun! But If You Have NEXUS or Global Entry, You Can Skip Long Security Lines at Certain Canadian Airports

Plus, when the Trusted Traveler lanes are closed, folks with NEXUS or Global Entry are often allowed to jump to the front of the line.

If you travel from Mexico to the US a lot, applying for Viajero Confiable (Mexico’s version of Global Entry) is worth considering.

I don’t have personal experience with this program, but it’s nearly identical to Global Entry in that you must apply online, pay a fee, and go to an interview.  And once you’re approved, you’ll have access to separate (shorter!) security and immigration lines at certain airports.

You can read more about Viajero Confiable here.

Cards That Offer Global Entry Fee Credits

Global Entry costs $100 and is valid for 5 years.  But you’ll get a statement credit for the fee if you pay with one of these cards:

If you have more than one of these cards and already have Global Entry, you can use the benefit to pay someone else’s application fee.

Once you’re approved for Global Entry, you’ll also usually get access to the TSA PreCheck security line when traveling domestically!

Here’s more about how to fill out the Global Entry application.  And how you can add your known traveler number to airline reservations.

Bottom Line

Airports in Canada and Mexico that operate flights to the US are now implementing stricter security measures.  Including enhanced screening of electronics, increased security in passenger areas, and more.

Because of this, longer security lines are expected.  And it would be wise to get to the airport extra early!

With this news, I imagine it won’t be long before we hear of more countries complying with these tighter security measures, too.

I’d love to hear your experience if you’ve traveled to the US from Canada or Mexico with these new measures.  Did it make you feel safer?  Please share in the comments!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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