TSA Pre-check: How to Get It and What It Gets You

TSA Precheck
December 21, 2022

If you travel frequently, then you know the drill: taking off your shoes and belts, emptying your pockets, and getting your carry-on bag scanned and X-rayed. But what if we told you there was a way to avoid all of that? With TSA Precheck, you can enjoy a quicker, more convenient security experience at select airports. Keep reading to learn how to get it and what benefits it offers.

What is TSA Pre-check?

Following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States that derived from air travel, airport security became nationalized with a number of new safety measures that can be inconvenient for travelers and add to wait times. TSA Precheck is a program that can help pre-approved passengers move to the front of the line with limited requirements for passengers to go through.

TSA Precheck is run by Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Program or TTP (along with other expedited security programs.) A light evaluation is conducted before members are approved for the service that lasts five years.

How to Get TSA Pre-check

To obtain TSA Precheck you’ll have to first file a Precheck application which is submitted to an FBI background check. It’s not as scary as it seems and almost everyone passes.

Once you’re approved for TSA Precheck, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that allows you to make use of the program. You can enter your KTN when booking flights on participating airlines like Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and many more. At the airport, there will be a designated lane for TSA Precheck members. As an added bonus, you can even bring liquids, laptops, and shoes while passing through security. The TSA Precheck fee of $85 is good for a five-year period, so it’s worth signing up for if you will be traveling frequently during a five-year period.

The Benefits of TSA Pre-check

An example of just some of those adjustments for TSA Precheck members are:

  • Metal detection rather than a full-body scanner
  • Laptop and electronics can stay in your carry-on luggage
  • Members do not need to remove most belts, jackets, or shoes

Consider all of the time and hassle you can save by being able to quickly pass through airport security. You no longer have to worry about having to stand in long lines or take off your shoes. Plus, you also don’t have to worry about taking liquids, laptops, and other items with you. The $85 fee is a small price to pay for the convenience and comfort of using TSA Precheck. With all of these benefits in mind, getting TSA Precheck is definitely worth it.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, TSA PreCheck, a program initiated by the Transportation Security Administration, has significantly streamlined the security screening process at airports across the United States. For frequent travelers, enrolling in TSA PreCheck means experiencing a more efficient and less intrusive screening process at security checkpoints, including both domestic and international airports.

The advantages of TSA PreCheck are numerous. Travelers with TSA PreCheck on their boarding pass can use dedicated PreCheck lanes, which generally means shorter wait times and a more expedited process through security checkpoints. This efficiency is particularly noticeable during peak travel times, when regular screening lanes can be congested and slow-moving.

In addition to the convenience at security checkpoints, TSA PreCheck members benefit from not having to remove shoes, belts, and light jackets during screening. Furthermore, laptops and compliant liquids can remain in their carry-on luggage, making the entire experience smoother and more pleasant.

For those who travel internationally, combining TSA PreCheck with Global Entry can provide an even more seamless travel experience. Global Entry, which also requires a government-issued identification and a thorough background check, offers expedited clearance upon re-entry to the United States, complementing the benefits of TSA PreCheck.

Importantly, TSA PreCheck also enhances the overall safety of travel. By pre-screening individuals who are deemed low-risk, TSA can focus its resources more effectively on potential threats, improving security for all travelers. The rigorous application process, which includes fingerprinting and a background check, ensures that those in the PreCheck lanes have been thoroughly vetted.

In short, TSA PreCheck represents a significant advancement in the realm of travel security and convenience. It simplifies the screening process, reduces wait times at security checkpoints, and provides a more comfortable and efficient experience for travelers. Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, the benefits of TSA PreCheck make it a worthwhile investment for a smoother journey, allowing you to focus more on your travel and less on the hassles of security screening.

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