Traveling can be a hassle, but it’s worth it to get away from the everyday. The process of going through security can be time-consuming and frustrating. You have to take off your shoes, remove your laptop from your bag, and fumble through all of your belongings.
TSA Pre-Check is a program that allows travelers to go through a designated fast lane at the airport. You don’t have to take off your shoes or remove your laptop from your bag. You also don’t have to worry about having liquids or gels in containers larger than 3.4 ounces.
This blog post will go over what TSA Pre-Check is, who can apply for it and if you really need to get this program.
What Is TSA Pre-Check?
TSA Pre-Check is a program operated by the United States Transportation Security Administration that allows passengers who have been pre-approved to speed through airport security checkpoints.
Participants in the TSA PreCheck program can leave their shoes, light jackets, and belts on during the screening process. They can also keep their laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags.
The goal of the TSA PreCheck program is to speed up the screening process for passengers who pose a low-security risk.
TSA Pre-Check Details
● A five-year membership costs $85 ($17 per year).
● Allows low-risk passengers to use TSA PreCheck security lanes and receive expedited security screening.
● Available at more than 200 U.S. airports and more than 80 participating airlines.
● TSA PreCheck is open to children 12 and under when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
TSA PreCheck expedited security checks at participating U.S. airports. After enrolling, you will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN). When making airline reservations, your boarding pass will be marked with a TSA PreCheck icon when you enter this number.
Remember that being a TSA PreCheck member does not always guarantee expedited screening. You must fly from an airport that provides it and an airline that participates in the program. The TSA may also choose to require regular or more thorough screening.
You can bypass standard security lanes by using dedicated TSA PreCheck lanes at the security checkpoint. You are not required to remove your shoes, belt, or light jacket. You can also carry on your laptop food and liquids that meet the liquid size requirements.
TSA PreCheck is more than worth the $17 annual fee when you consider how much time it saves you at the airport. Many of the best travel credit cards also cover the cost of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. If you only travel within the United States, this program is for you. Global Entry is the better option if you plan to travel outside the country.
How do I apply for TSA Pre-Check?
Here’s how to sign up for TSA PreCheck:
1. Go to the TSA PreCheck website and click the “Apply Now” button.
2. Fill out the application form and make an appointment at one of the enrollment centers.
3. For your in-person appointment, go to the enrollment center.
The nonrefundable fee of $85 is due at the time of the in-person appointment. If you have a travel credit card that covers the TSA PreCheck fee, use it.
After approval, you will receive your KTN, which you must enter when booking air travel to receive TSA PreCheck benefits. You can also add your KTN during the check-in process if you forget or need to update an existing reservation.
Do children need TSA Pre-Check?
There isn’t a definitive answer, as it depends on the child’s age and traveling habits. Generally speaking, though, kids younger than 12 years old don’t need TSA Pre-Check. The reasoning is that most kids this young rarely fly alone and usually go through the checkpoint with an adult.
That said, if your child is older than 12 and has a regular travel routine (flying alone or with friends), then TSA Pre-Check may be an excellent option to consider. It can help speed up the security process since you won’t have to take off your shoes, remove your laptop from your bag, or go through the body scanner.
How Much Is TSA Pre-Check?
TSA Pre-Check is $85 for five years. If you are a member of one of the “Trusted Traveler” programs, such as Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI, you are automatically approved for TSA Pre-Check and do not need to pay the additional fee.
TSA Pre-Check for a family is also $85 per person for a five-year membership. This fee is valid for up to nine people traveling on the same reservation. Children younger than 12 are free when accompanied by an adult with a TSA Pre✓® boarding pass.
Can I Get TSA Pre-Check For Free?
You can get TSA Pre-Check for free if you are a member of one of the following programs:
Global Entry: U.S. citizens and permanent residents approved for Global Entry are automatically approved for TSA Pre-Check.
NEXUS: Canadian citizens and permanent residents approved for NEXUS are automatically approved for TSA Pre-Check.
DHS trusted traveler programs: U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents members of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs (global entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST) are automatically approved for TSA Pre-Check.
Where can I use TSA Pre-Check?
TSA Pre-Check is available when departing from the following airports:
● Atlanta, GA (ATL)
● Baltimore, MD (BWI)
● Boston, MA (BOS)
● Chicago, IL O’Hare (ORD)
● Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
● Denver, CO (DEN)
● Detroit, MI Metro Airport (DTW)
● Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
● Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
● Miami International Airport(MIA)
● Newark Liberty International Airport NJ(EWR)
● Orlando International Airport FL(MCO)
● Philadelphia, PA(PHL)
● Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport AZ(PHX)
● And Many more
I hope you better understand TSA Pre-Check and whether or not you need it. If you have any questions about this program, please contact us.