Approved members can bypass long immigration and customs lines, scan their own passports at airport kiosks and continue on their way in less than a minute.We did an unscientific test of this system yesterday.
Returning from a foreign country using the Atlanta airport, Barry, having previously enrolled in the Global Entry system used the kiosk while I used the standard human based passport check.
Lines for both systems were very short.
As it was his first live interaction with the system, it took Barry more than a minute to get through the process. Even with very short lines (perhaps 5 people in front of me), it took me several minutes longer to present my passport and gain entry into the United States.
There were perhaps ten humans checking U.S. passports. There were approximately 5 machines serving Global Entry members.
Lines for the human passport check are usually much longer. There were a limited number of kiosks.
Scaling up the number of kiosks is easier than scaling up the number of human agents in terms of both implementation time (training vs. installation) and infrastructure adjustments (constructing a cubicle vs. installing an ATM-like machine).