Good news, travelers -- the lines at customs at Kennedy and Newark airports have shrunk in recent months, thanks to the installation of automated kiosks. Since the 40 kiosks were installed at Kennedy Airport's busy Terminal 4 in October, average wait times have dropped from more than 36 minutes to 17, according to a report from Global Gateway Alliance, a New York-based flier advocacy group. Previously, lines could stretch as long as three to five hours, the group said.

The kiosks streamline processing by allowing users to scan their passports and customs declarations, documents previously checked by a customs officer. Travelers then present a receipt to a customs officer in order to pass.

"Technology is an important way to make the experience better," said Steve Sigmund, the Alliance's executive director. "What we're asking for is Customs and Border Protection to put kiosks in all the terminals in the New York market."