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A Trip of a Lifetime: Preventing Baggage Loss at the Factory

A Trip of a Lifetime: Preparing with NEXUS


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After nearly a year of anticipation, the week is finally upon me. All this week, I'll get to be up close and personal with nearly everything Canadian travel, as I join the ultimate pilgrimage for travel aficionados like myself: the annual Star Alliance MegaDO.

The first Star Alliance MegaDO (or SMD, as those in the know abbreviate it) was dreamed up five years ago, when a group decided they wanted to charter an airplane and tour where it (and many like it) were made: the Airbus factory in France. Five years later, MegaDO has become an annual tradition that gathers many frequent flyers, industry influencers, and other excited travelers, much like myself.

This year, the annual gathering centers around one of my favorite places in the world: Toronto. During the trip, we'll not only be flying a private United Airlines charter, but we'll also see where some of the best luggage in the world is made, go behind the scenes at a major hotel operation and airline, and tour the world famous airplane boneyard in Arizona. This week is truly promising to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Of course, my preparation for this trip began quite a while back - before any payments were made and plans were prepared for, this trip began with a much more simple action. To begin this trip of a lifetime, I started by applying for my NEXUS card.

As I've written about several times in this blog, NEXUS is a trusted traveler program for frequent travelers between Canada and the United States. The system effectively pre-screens potential travelers who plan on going back and forth on a regular basis. To apply for NEXUS (or any of the trusted travel programs), one has to start at the GOES website - the Global Online Enrollment System - operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office.

My experience applying for NEXUS was a relatively easy process. I started with the application form - and the hardest part of the form was trying to remember all of the places I've lived in the past ten years! With this information, I submitted my information for a background check by both Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Canada Border Services Agency. While they advise the process can take up to eight weeks, my application did not get processed for the better part of three months. Once it was, it was time for the part I dreaded the most - the screening interview.

I elected to do my interview at Fort Erie, on the other side of Niagara Falls. Fort Erie is one of the enrollment centers which completes iris scanning as part of the application finalization, which meant that I could use NEXUS when flying into Canada as well as at ground crossings. Once there, the interview process took all of 45 minutes. I was asked to submit my fingerprints, and confirm the information stated on my application. Once that was confirmed, I was interviewed by both a CBSA officer as well as a CBP officer, who each explained how the system worked from their perspective, explained all the potential violations that could have my card revoked, and answered any questions I had about the process. At the end of the process, my NEXUS status was approved, and I received my card within a week.

In addition to NEXUS, my trusted traveler card also gives me access to the TSA Pre-Check program (where available and when selected), further expediting my travels through the security checkpoint. Also included with the trusted traveler program is access to Global Entry when I am coming back into the United States - which will make my re-entry back to the US that much easier every time I come back from an overseas trip. For the process of the background check, six-hour drive to the interview, and $50 application fee, NEXUS was well worth the effort - and comes with plenty of benefits as well.

As I land in Canada, I'm incredibly grateful that I'll be able to utilize NEXUS to make my travels through security that much easier. Have you applied for NEXUS or another trusted traveler program? Has it been of much benefit to you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!



Nice Posting

Daniel W

Nice Article, I need info on How to apply NEXUS ? and how long to be approved ?

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