Though TSA warned that this summer’s travelers would see even longer waits than usual, passengers, airlines, and airports are fed up with the Transportation Security Administration. TSA’s answer to avoiding the growing lines is to join TSA PreCheck.
TSA PreCheck was designed to allow low-risk travelers to skip the long waits at security check lines. Those pre-screened travelers breezing through PreCheck aren’t required to remove their shoes, electronics, or travel-sized liquids. But, some customers wonder whether or not paying the PreCheck registration fee will be worth the amenities if all travelers are encouraged by TSA to enroll.
Whether or not a swarm of travelers register for TSA PreCheck, the easier, more convenient option is something to keep in mind for both the frequent business traveler and the leisurely tourist. If you are a US resident and permanent citizen, follow the steps below to register for your own TSA PreCheck upgrade.
1. Complete the application.
The application can be completed online or by walking into an application center. The application is easy to complete, but will require about 30 minutes of your time. Online applicants will later need to visit the application center for an in-person interview.
2. Meet with a TSA agent.
Online applicants will schedule an appointment, and those who apply in person can wait at the application center for the next available agent. The agent will fingerprint applicants, process all documents, and conduct a short interview to confirm application information. He or she will then collect the non-refundable $85 application fee, which will cover five years of PreCheck services.
The approval process typically takes two to three weeks. Once approved, an applicant will receive an envelope in the mail containing a Known Traveler Number (KTN) to be used when booking flights. By using your KTN, your boarding pass will indicate that you are a PreCheck user, and a TSA agent will guide you to the correct lane.
Though registering for TSA PreCheck does not necessarily guarantee a wait-free trip through security, for now it may be the best bet for travelers. PreCheck can only be used with a TSA-approved airline and airport partner, which currently includes 16 airlines and most major US airlines, like American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and Virgin America.
International travelers should consider enrolling in the Global Entry program, which simplifies the entry process and reduces time spent with US Customs. The Global Entry program costs $100 for five years. For more information regarding TSA PreCheck, [Click Here].
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