NEW YORK — Loews Hotels & Resorts is promoting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program by offering complimentary enrollment to the chain’s top customers.
Loews will pay the $100 application fee for the Global Entry program for platinum members of Loews’ YouFirst loyalty program. The platinum program has 2,500 members.
Currently available at 30 U.S. airports, Global Entry gives pre-approved travelers an expedited process through customs. Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent U.S. residents, Dutch citizens and Mexican nationals. Canadian citizens and residents qualify through membership in the NEXUS program.
Applicants must submit to an in-person interview at a CBP enrollment center and a background check. Since Global Entry is a biometric program, applicants also must provide fingerprints.
Global Entry processes most people in less than five minutes, said David Aguilar, deputy commissioner of the CBP.
“Our industry is finally being recognized by our government as an economic driver,” said Loews Chairman Jonathan Tisch in announcing the program at a press conference at Loews Regency Hotel in New York on Monday.
Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security secretary, attended the event. She said government recognizes the need for public and private collaboration to improve the traveler experience while providing strong security.
Aguilar said the CBP “is doing everything we can to partner up” with other players in the travel industry.
CBP said it has also worked with American Express and United Airlines, which provide Global Entry reimbursement for top-tier customers.
Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.