I received the orange box again during my recent international-domestic connection through Washington Dulles…but at least now I know why.
Another Orange Box Secondary Screening By DHS At Washington Dulles
I travel with two passports. At least before the pandemic (and I literally got my second passport just a month before the pandemic began last year), it sure made sense to have a back-up passport in case one was sitting in an embassy or consulate waiting for a visa.
But one annoyance with the second passport is that it has not synced with Global Entry. Perhaps I have done it wrong, but the information for both passports is on file with my Global Entry account.
However, my second passport seems to have trouble with Global Entry, prompting the orange box my last two international connections through Washington Dulles.
For whoever reason, when I use the Global Entry kiosk to enter the USA, it thinks I am traveling on my other passport. When the two numbers do not match, I get the big X and I’m sent to secondary.
Despite an otherwise quiet Saturday at IAD, I encountered a large line at the secondary screening area.
There was a flight that had arrived from Addis Ababa and many of the passengers had been sent to secondary screening. There was only three agents on duty and two of them were quite mean, barking orders in a demeaning way toward the waiting passengers.
The guy in front of me was not on the Addis flight and had come from El Saldvior on LATAM and was connecting to Toronto. He had a fairly complex tool used to fix cars. It was carefully wrapped and the border patrol agent use boxcutters to rip it open, cutting through not only the wrapping, but the box itself. After examining the parts, she just dumped it on the table and walked away, then slammed down some tape on the table…as if that could magically repair a broke.
He was visibly flustered and really at a loss for how to put his box back together. He asked her for guidance and she just shrugged and walked away.
Meanwhile, an older agent was yelling at the African passengers, as if he thought communication would be easier with a louder voice.
Thankfully, I got the “nice” agent. We made small talk…I guess that was the part of the program. She recorded all sorts of information on the computer about my travel and blogging. She asked if I had ever been robbed and when told her I had…in Bangkok…she blushed. She was from Bangkok, a Thai immigrant to the USA.
She totally dumped out the contents of my bag and searched through everything before letting me go. She also confirmed the issue was the passport discrepancy. That’s what prompted the conversation in the first place about what I do and why.
Oh, and those orange boxes? They alarm if you walk past the secondary screening checkpoint without stopping. I could not believe how many tried to walk by, then acted clueless when asked if their passport was in an orange box. Did they expect to take it home with them?
Goodness gracious, unless I can figure out this dual passport issue in Global Entry I’ve got to travel with the other passport…