TSA Pre✓ Expands to include 5 additional Domestic and International Airlines
Here’s why every American traveler should sign up for TSA PreCheck
If you could get an upgrade from economy to business class, you’d do that, right?
Well, getting TSA PreCheck is basically the preflight upgrade equivalent, and it’s something that every American citizen who flies often should consider getting.
Here’s everything you need to know about TSA PreCheck:
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck means that you have been pre-approved by the US Customs and Border Protection, and deemed a low-risk traveler (at least for domestic US travel, and when departing from a US airport to travel internationally).
So what does having TSA PreCheck mean for me?
It means that you can skip lengthy security lines by getting into a special PreCheck line, and that you get to cut down on a few common security checks. For instance, you’ll be able to keep your shoes and belt on, even a light jacket. You also don’t have to rummage through your bag to remove your laptop. Essentially, PreCheck means getting herded through security as quickly and efficiently as possible — so the opposite of your usual experience.
Can anyone get it?
Most US citizens or permanent residents who don’t have a criminal background are eligible for TSA PreCheck. Foreigners can get it if they have Global Entry, as PreCheck also comes with other Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler programs, like Global Entry, Nexus, and Sentri.
How much does it cost?
$85, and it lasts for five years.
Does PreCheck work anywhere?
Right now, PreCheck is compatible with 11 carriers at over 120 airports. Participating airlines include Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America.
Do I get a badge or something? How will people know I’m special?
Once you’ve been cleared, you’ll get a KTN, a nine-digit Known Traveler Number, which you’ll need to include in your flight reservations and will then be embedded in the barcode of your boarding pass.
Can my family get on the fast lane with me?
Only family members that are 12 or younger. Those 13 and up will need to get PreCheck themselves.
What do I need to do to apply?
The application is fairly simple. You complete some light paperwork online, pay the $85, and then set up a brief interview at one of over 300 application centers. Yes, you have to show up in person. No, it doesn’t take long. Basically you’re just submitting proof of citizenship, submitting your fingerprints, and answering a few personal questions about your travels.
Where can I apply?
You can apply by clicking here: https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/servicecode/11115V
What’s the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?
Unlike the domestically oriented TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, for only $25 more, makes coming home from an international trip easier, as it cuts down on the paperwork and processing lines. That said, you need a passport to get it, and you’d be surprised at how many Americans don’t have one.