If you are trying to complete your Global Entry application but have been stymied by the scarcity of available appointments, keep on trying.
Customs and Border Protection, which said in an email Tuesday that the Los Angeles office where those applications can be completed would reopen Oct. 1, said Wednesday that the office would remain closed indefinitely.
Global Entry, which costs $100 for five years, allows travelers whose applications are approved to have expedited re-entry to the United States upon return from a foreign country. The program also offers TSA PreCheck, the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited security screening. Approved travelers who have PreCheck usually do not have to take off their belts, shoes or light jackets or remove their liquids (which must be 3.4 ounces or less) from their carry-on luggage.
The LAX Global Entry Enrollment Center at 11099 S. La Cienega Blvd. closed in late June so staff could be sent to the Mexican border. Some applicants showed up unaware that the office had closed; because of what CBP called a “scheduling system glitch,” some people were not notified.
Those who needed an appointment were directed to the Long Beach Seaport office at 301 E. Ocean Blvd., Room 670.
But the LAX closure apparently has put additional demand on that office, which is open 7 a.m. -3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, making appointments more difficult to come by.
Because of the “high number of applicants it may take a month or two to get” an appointment, Jaime Ruiz of the Office of Public Affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in an email.
L.A. Times reader Fred Sonnenberg of Agoura Hills was frustrated by his inability to get a date. “When I applied for the soonest available appointment at either the Los Angeles or Long Beach offices, there were no appointments available,” he said in an email to The Times. “How can one renew their Global Entry membership if no appointments are available?”
▶Check constantly for cancellations. “Checking for cancellations is a very good strategy,” Ruiz said.
▶“Another strategy is to enroll on arrival,” Ruiz said.
Enrollment on arrival is available for those “who are conditionally approved to complete their interviews upon arrival into the United States,” the CBP website says. “When landing in an international terminal, follow the signage directing you to CBP officers who can complete your Global Entry interview during your admissibility inspection.” You do not need an appointment.
▶Consider traveling to complete the task. Make a day of it. That’s what Richard Guy of Sherman Oaks did.
He went to San Ysidro, which took “three hours down from Sherman Oaks and four hours back,” he said in an email. “It burned up a day, but we got it done before a short-notice trip, which made it worth it.”
CBP maintains a list by state of airports that offer the service, which includes John Wayne in Orange County and San Diego airport. But there are places farther afield that may have appointments.
“Otay Mesa is nearly as close,” Guy said of the Customs and Border Protection Office at 2500 Paseo Internacional, about 25 miles southeast of the San Diego airport. The Calexico, Calif., enrollment center, about 240 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, is another option, “but one could stop in Palm Springs...to ease the pain,” Guy said.