Have you ever found yourself standing with your carry-on, in a security line that goes on forever with delays during the peak travel times that can sometimes exceed the length of a flight? Well, when flying you do not have to — if you are willing to pay a little. But, before you refuse to fork over your extra cash, consider the options. For lots of frequent travelers, it can be well worth the upfront cost to eliminate delays and your sanity later.
There are many programs that work to get you through airport screening faster, but TSA Pre-check is my favorite. TSA agents will direct you to the front of the line, or, more accurately, through a separate TSA Pre-check express lane.
TSA Pre-check is a new screening program that helps many business travelers get through TSA security screenings faster. Some 97% of TSA Pre- check passengers were delayed less than five minutes in line in July 2016, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
The cost for travelers is $85 for a five-year membership. After filling out a brief online application, you will attend a 10-minute, in-person background check and finger printing appointment at one of the 380 enrollment centers in the United States. You can apply anytime and you will get the approval in about 30 to 45 days from the time your application is completed.
Your benefits include:
- Faster screening process full-time or during busy times at 180 participating airports , for “low risk” customers flying on one of 16 participating airlines. (NOTE: Due to the nature of airport security, faster screening is not always guaranteed.)
- Kids ages 12 and under flying with a parent or guardian with a TSA Pre-check stamp on their boarding pass will be able to participate in expedited screening.
- You will not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets.