Major Mishap: U.S. Government Loses All Global Entry Applications from November 17 [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Whoops. The U.S. government lost all trusted traveler program applications (like Global Entry) submitted on November 17.

    On 17 November, the Trusted Traveler Programs website experienced a system disruption that resulted in several applications being lost from the system following successful payment submission. Refunds have now been issued for all applicants who had not reversed payment or otherwise recovered their application fees.

    If you were affected by this disruption and still wish to be a Trusted Traveler Programs member, please resubmit a new or renewal application through our official website ( These applications will be processed in the order received. Please note that we are not able to reinstate expired memberships.

  • I’m triggered. Those of you that think this is ok, please explain to me why.

    Finally encountered it, coming to a Delta flight near you
    byu/nsrunner- indelta

  • Passenger kicked off American Airlines for carrying a Mexican and Saudi Arabian flag. He was… departing Mexico, promoting the heavyweight boxing championship in Riyadh coming on May 18th.

  • Oakland has now voted to change its airport’s name to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. San Francisco, whose airport isn’t in San Francisco either (it’s in San Mateo County), has vowed to sue. Meanwhile United Airlines still insists that Newark is in New York rather than New Jersey.

  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering 250 British Airways Avios just for joining (HT: Head For Points)

  • United still hands out sanitizing wipes when you board, and this struck me funny.

    Anyone else think you’re being handed condoms every time you board a United flight? Those sanitizing wipes look and feel like condom wrappers lol

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m not sure global entry applications are processed in the order received. I’ve been waiting 9 months but some people get approvals within days.

  2. They should have changed the name of the Oakland to “We’re Not the Sh*t Hole You Think We Are”. Then everyone would know exactly who they are — “Oh, you mean Oakland!”

  3. Global Entry applications are not processed in the order in which they are received. They are distributed and the distributions have different bottle necks. And some end up processed much faster than others either based on which location gets their application or what the computer system or CBP employees think about a person. Then from there it’s sort of in order, but just not in a uniform way across all applications submitted. In some ways, it’s sort of like it is with applications for US passports, except DHS is more of a mess than even the State Department.

  4. The deplaning of a passenger because of a Mexican and Saudi flag is really over the top paranoia if that is why it happened. Then the woman who complained about the flag(s) and the pilot are the two who should have been removed for being a danger to the species by being dangerously paranoid and a security risk due to their out of control overreaction to a flag or two.

  5. All flags belong in checked baggage . There is not room for angry nationalism in a crowded cabin . There is also not room for current events arguments . Good on the pilot .

  6. Flags are personal items, he carries one carryon and 3 personal items, no wonder he got kicked out

  7. Maybe they lost them on purpose? They don’t want to do any more criminal background checks and they don’t want to know who you are, and where you are going at all times. That’s the main purpose of the government having Global entry, isn’t it?

  8. Ah yes, more of Gary’s foot fetish.

    I wonder what will happen when he learns human hands have way more bacteria on them than human feet?

    Will he never touch anything that anyone else has put their hand on before? Start posting pictures of people touching things with their hands on the plane so that we may be “grossed out”?

  9. Use of enclosed human footwear is far more likely to have a person coming out with stinkier/more disgusting feet than use of gloves. And the olfactory response tends to be nature’s way of promoting illness avoidance in a world where we aren’t walking and talking electron miscroscopes with our own massive CDC labs for running samples first.

  10. RE: OAK. There is a similar issue with MHT (Manchester NH) here in the Boston area. They took “Manchester Regional Airport” and added Boston to it. It’s like 90 mins from the city and subject to crazy traffic.

    At least in the Bay Area you can take a real subway train — BART — from OAK into SF that runs on a real schedule without cars and highways and streets. I would totally consider OAK for future needs simply for the BART connection making it easier. Similar to how I consider MDW and ORD because both can get you to the loop faster on the train than any Uber or car.

  11. @GUWonder Feet aren’t some weirdo body part with different mechanics compared to hands or anything else. Feet get smelly because they sweat and generally don’t get any ventilation. Most people’s feet don’t have rabies or the plague. Other people’s sweat is a little gross but hardly anything life threatening. It’s clear Gary is a germaphobe but he doesn’t even target the things that actually have the most germs so it’s just straight up irrational phobias.

  12. Most people’s feet on flights have been in shoes that are not well ventilated. Those shoes and socks have a tremendous buildup of bacteria and even mold spores and do make feet stink because of that. Hands don’t have that issue because our hands get much better ventilation and typically get washed with soap and water more often than feet and they probably get washed better on average than feet.

    Whether a germophobe or not, there may also be something culturally uncouth about putting feet closer to other people’s faces. “No shoes/feet on the furniture” has been a common mantra from a lot of adults to a lot of kids over the years. Maybe it’s a lesson our esteemed blogger host took to heart and never forgot.

  13. I applied for a renewal of my Global Entry last September. My wife applied a month later. She was notified of her approval then a few weeks later received her new card. I still have no status change or information on my application and we have exactly the same travel history since our last approvals. The sad part is that there doesn’t appear to be any way to contact DHS to inquire.

  14. @GUWonder usually the rule of no feet on the furniture is to protect the furniture from getting dirty from your shoes. If the issue is that there is a cultural taboo against seeing bare feet then just say that. Gary acts like it is the most disgusting thing he has ever seen, he posts pictures of feet on the plane about every two weeks.

    Re: feet bacteria, I hate to tell you but the human body has over 10,000 different kinds of bacteria in it, including every square inch of your skin. If you are afraid of bacteria you probably best not leave your house.

  15. What a relief. I’ve been waiting since July for conditional approval, which means that they didn’t lose the information, so I won’t have to wait. On the other hand, maybe since they lost half the ones since I applied, they might get to mine eventually.

  16. Cultural taboo against seeing bare feet? Nowhere that I’ve heard of such a taboo. But putting feet — covered or not — closer to the faces of others or on common area furniture is not considered good manners under a variety of circumstances.

    Stinky feet are stinky feet, whether they are bare feet or not.

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