CBP makes it right and restores my Global Entry!

By: Michael

Well I have to admit I never saw this coming and never expected such a quick resolution, or even a resolution at all. After my incident involving Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at LAX, which led to my Global Entry clearance being unfairly revoked, I did a number of things, including:

  • Filing a Freedom of Information Act to find out what led to the revocation.
  • Filing a complaint with CBP’s Office of Field Relations regarding officer conduct.
  • Filed a request for review with CBP’s Ombudsman.
  • Wrote the article linked above to bring attention to this issue.
Our LAX gate, where the incident took place

Our LAX gate, where the incident took place

Today I was just contacted by a CBP Global Entry Program Manager with an update to my case. When I spoke to him, he noted that my original post had caught the attention of CBP in Washington D.C. and that had prompted a review of my specific situation, which he had personally reviewed. The agent said that after reviewing the situation, he concluded that my Global Entry privileges had been revoked for an invalid reason, apologized for the inconvenience, and told me my Global Entry clearance had been reinstated effective immediately for the remaining length of my original approval.

Photo courtesy of CPB.gov

Photo courtesy of CBP.gov

I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and professionally this situation was handled. As I mentioned to the agent, I don’t feel like all CBP agents are the same as the one I had the original interactions with. I do believe they perform an important function in keeping us safe, and the way in which they handled and corrected my situation and admitted they made a mistake left me very impressed. While social media might have played a factor in my case being brought to their attention sooner, the fact that they were willing to review it and make it right was impressive, and I’m glad this whole incident can be quickly put behind me.

Nevertheless, this serves as a reminder that when traveling with medication, especially internationally, make sure you understand CBP rules, as well as foreign country regulations and procedures for carrying medication and other restricted items in and out of each country.

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9 Responses to CBP makes it right and restores my Global Entry!

  1. gavinmac says:

    Good news. I’d still be interested to see what the first CBP officer wrote about you and the situation when you get the results of your FOIA request.

    • travelguys says:

      Same here. I won’t actively pursue getting the copy, but the request has been made, so I assume that A) it will be sent eventually, and B) given that the clearance was reinstated that he wrote exactly what we discussed, given that CBP agreed he was wrong. If the decision would have stuck then that would have led me to believe he gave a different version, so that doesn’t seem to be the case. Regardless, if and when I get a copy I will update the post if needed.

  2. Andres Martinez says:

    Last saturday when i came in the country after 11 days on a short vacations after going to a a global entry kiosk i was directed to a official in window 8 who arrogantly made some questions and them told me don’t waste your money. After that i was send to the cold room and when they clear me it took 5 minutes. I was out to home. How an official of Home land security could say that? don’t waste your money ,what does that mean? that the system does not work, why they created that? if does not work. I saw an act of discrimination and arrogance. He ask me what kind of job you do? I said I’m a pastor, also where do you live?and if a rent or own a home,how long i was out of the country? If my family live here? If i like Miami? he was asking questions after questions it was really a mess.

    • travelguys says:

      @Andres, sorry to hear. I personally don’t have a problem with CBP officers asking questions or even with random or justified secondary screenings. Where the wheels come off is when an agent with incorrect information still decides to write a report to revoke GE privileges and somehow the decision sticks, so I’m glad someone at CBP exercised better judgment and determined it was unfairly revoked. Traveling is stressful enough as it is and there’s no need to stress out passengers unfairly any more than we already do.

  3. Vic says:

    Lesson learned:
    Run a famous travel blog so you don’t get screwed for no reason!
    Congrats on the success!

    • travelguys says:

      @Vic I like to just think that the dispute system worked as intended, but I’d be naive if I didn’t think the publicity played a factor at least into expediting the review. It shouldn’t have matter, but if it did I’ll take it. The main purpose of the post was to bring attention to the issue for anyone who doesn’t think twice about flying with medication that can potentially get them in trouble, and I hope it was able to convey that message. Thanks for reading!

  4. Daniela McCash says:

    Thanks so much for posting your story! My husband and I got our Global Entry cards last year and used them for the first time in January of this year. I had no issues, but my husband was told that his card had been revoked. We got no notifications about it. He logged into his GOES account and saw that he had received three notifications. He tried to click on them but they weren’t live links. It gave no information as to why he was revoked. He hasn’t gotten into any trouble with “the law” since he graduated college twenty years ago, save a speeding ticket here and there. He called the TPP program, but they said they had no information and that he would have to contact the Ombudsman and/or Foia. He emailed the Ombudsman yesterday and got the same automated message you did about six months, blah, blah. We couldn’t figure out which office to email for Foia. It does give an option on the TPP website to reapply, but we were already approved and paid our $100, so why start from scratch? It’s frustrating that you can’t get someone on the phone to tell you what happened and how to rectify it. Any suggestions? We have a trip to NZ in March that we’d love to have our KTNs for.

    Thanks in advance,


    • travelguys says:

      Daniela, sorry to hear. Unfortunately I don’t know if there is an easy way. Since they’re not obligated to grant this, it’s very difficult to appeal. I feel that the lack of transparency is by design. Have you considered TSA Precheck, Mobile Passport or Clear?

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