Hotel Tips and New Global Entry Interview Option
Staying in hotels almost 50% of my nights last year, I learned a few tips.
Tip #1: Book directly with the hotel, using 3rd party sites such as hotels.com increases your odds at getting “walked” last minute. This means you will be placed in a nearby hotel due to an oversold situation. Booking directly with the hotel they respect your reservation more as they don’t have to pay the 3rd party the commission therefore increasing their revenue. Most hotel bookings are on commissionable rates when booking on a 3rd party site. Corporate rates are typically non-commissionable which is why they offer the best rates and companies encourage travelers to book using their rate codes.
Tip #2: You can pickup additional bottled water for free in the hotel gym or at least refill your bottle. This is handy as most hotels charge for bottled water in the room. My most recent stay at a Sheraton was charging $9 per bottle.
Tip #3: If you are traveling with more than 2 adults ensure the hotel won’t charge a 3rd adult fee. Most US hotels don’t check, but be prepared to pay if they catch you. I’ve had hotels in Japan and Maldives charge a 3rd adult fee. For the best odds, only have 1 person go to the check-in desk.
Do you have any tips? Comment below.
US CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has released a new method where you can complete your interview for Global Entry upon arrival from an international trip at 5 select airports. Currently, new appointments are booked out for at least 4-6 months. Enrollment on Arrival is available when landing from an international flight at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
“Once a traveler is conditionally-approved, instead of scheduling an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, the traveler can complete the enrollment interview during CBP primary inspection at a participating airport. Upon arrival, travelers will be directed to a primary booth designated specifically for Enrollment on Arrival. A CBP officer will conduct both the primary processing and Global Entry interview and collect the traveler’s biometrics to complete the enrollment. The traveler will then be cleared for entry into the United States and will be a Global Entry member.”
This is an excellent new addition as US CBP is swamped with applications at the moment. Comment below if you are successful in using this option.
My co-worker told me she used a feature on Twitter to notify her when someone canceled their interview for Global Entry and then she could login and try to apply for that time slot. Might be another alternative to waiting 4-6 months for the interview if that’s true.
@Chris: Excellent recommendation! I found the Twitter feed that shows the open appointments: https://twitter.com/goesbot