As the summer travel season approaches, U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske visited LAX to talk travel safety. His tips include ways for travelers to avoid unnecessary delays, as well as services and programs to make your travel better.
The airport is expected to serve upwards of 40,000 international passengers a day — a record number, acting port director for Customs and Border Protection Donald Kusser said. Last year, that number peaked at 35,000. He said there are a few ways of dealing with that passenger increase.
“One of the key things we recommend to our international travelers, especially if they travel quite frequently, is to join our Global Entry system,” Kusser told KPCC.
Travelers who sign up for the program have to undergo a brief background check and interview. Once you're in, you receive expedited processing through international flights. However, they are still required to speak with a Customs and Border Protection officer on their way out.
Automated passport control kiosks are also available throughout LAX to speed up the travel process. Anybody who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien can use the kiosks.
This, Kusser said, eliminates the administrative duties for the officers and allows them to perform more essential tasks — like verifying that a passenger is the true owner of a passport.
Plans to double the amount of passport kiosks are underway, he said.
Kusser recommends having your passport ready at all times, disclosing all imported goods and whether that exceeds $10,000 in value. He also said he wanted to remind travelers that agriculture products are prohibited — a daily struggle for the airport.
“Every single day here we’re seizing various fruits and things like that from foreign countries that can potentially bring in things like foreign pests. So that’s very important that you declare whatever you’re bringing in,” he said.