Well you certainly don’t get to try again, as I found out. I was in Miami on the way back from Panama, chatting with some new travel hacking friends I met on the flight back. We headed over to scan our documents at the Global Entry kiosks. I was going through the standard answer the questions, take a picture, scan your fingerprints, and got the last screen, where it said “Validating information. Times out in 31 seconds”
30, 29, 28, …. 10, 9, 8… uh oh what’s going on here. It kept ticking down on the validating information screen until 3, 2, 1… timed out when validating information, proceed to Passport Control.
Well I had definitely not had that happen before, so I tried using the kiosk again, but the machine rejected my attempt, saying my most recent border crossing had been too soon.
Miami also has Mobile Passport, which I tend to find to be equally fast as Global Entry. So I tried that too, and it also rejected my attempt and told me to go to Passport Control.
Uh oh. Was I in trouble? My buddy had told me the last time he went on a mileage run to Panama for less than 24 hours, he was stopped and basically had all his things searched when coming back to the US. I headed over to the normal immigration line, where fortunately there wasn’t much of a wait at all, and I had no trouble with the CBP agent, though he did ask me if I had used the Global Entry machine. I just told him that it errored out and sent me here. After making it through that unscathed, I made my way over to the Miami Centurion lounge to go catch my new friends, get a massage, and take a shower to freshen up. 🙂
So in conclusion, apparently the Global Entry kiosks can error out, and there’s no need to be alarmed, you just have to go through normal passport control. Possibly unrelated, but I didn’t receive TSA Pre-check for either my trip to or back from Panama. Maybe some agency just didn’t like me this trip.