Finnair just started seasonal service from San Francisco to Helsinki two months ago, but it’s already planning to extend it’s operating season by a month next year.
The Finnish airline said today that itsinaugural Bay Area service has been so well received that it will extend the operating season for its weekly flights by a month in 2018– from May 3 to Sept. 27.
It’s part of Finnair’s expansion plans for 2018. It already carries more than 10 million passengers a year between Asia, Europe and North America. By next summer, it will increase its total capacity by 14 percent from this summer season, Chief Commercial Officer Juha Järvinen said in a statement.
In addition to San Francisco, Finnair’s Chicago service will become daily with the addition of two weekly flights starting in April 2018 through October.
Outside of the United States, Finnair plans to will add flights to more than 20 European and Asian cities next winter and summer. And today, the airline introduced a year-round route to Nanjing, China.
International travelers now may find it faster to get a Global Entry membership — at least for some international travelers passing through the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and a few other locations.
As of this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is letting people who’ve completed the first part of the Global Entry application process proceed to an interview without an appointment at one of five airports, including SFO. Until now, travelers often waited several months for an interview.
Last year, I blogged about my experience waiting seven months for a Global Entry interview at SFO.
The five airports with the Enrollment on Arrival program are among the busiest Global Entry enrollment areas. In addition to SFO, the four other airports are: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas; George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport in Houston; and Vancouver International Airport in Canada. The CBP plans to expand the program to more airports.
CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Global Entry application volume has increased steadily over the last several years. A five-year membership costs $100.
Over 4 million Global Entry members use automated kiosks to bypass the traditional customs inspection process at 53 U.S. airports and 15 other sites, speeding up the international arrivals process. Members also get expedited airport security screening through TSA PreCheck.
Here’s what you do to become a Global Entry member:
If you pass a background check and receive conditional approval, you must make an appointment for an in-person interview with a CBP officer at one of over 100 Global Entry Enrollment Centers or follow the new Enrollment on Arrival program.
You must provide identification and biometrics during the interview.
After final approval, you receive a Global Entry number. A Global Entry card arrives via mail a few weeks later.