San Diego

New SD Airport Mobile Boarding Could Cut Customs Wait Times

Thanks to new technology being introduced through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, your wait times at customs cut be cut in half.

Mobile Passport Control, a free app for your iPhone, tablet or Android device, will expedite a traveler's arrival into the United States. It is currently available for U.S. and Canadian citizens.

“It allows the passenger to put in their biographical information. A lot of those questions are answered already and sent encrypted to the CBP officer," said William Snyder, Port Director at the San Diego Airport for Field Operations. "You are then allowed to go into a special mobile passport control lane. You will receive a code and you scan it in front of the officer."

Wait times from getting off the plane to getting through customs could be up to an hour for some customers. Snyder estimates this will lower the time to 20 minutes at the most, with some passengers at the front of the line able to get through customs in 5 minutes.

"If it does save time, that would be helpful to do it," said Walter Winkler, a San Diego resident planning a trip to Germany next week.

The app also makes for a more efficient inspection between the CBP officer and traveler upon arrival into the United States, Snyder added.

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