I’ve had TSA Pre✓ (Check) available via my Global Entry card since the end of 2012 and since then, going to the airport has never been a chore – in most cases, it’s excellent!
I share this information at a cost, you see, as more and more people get TSA Pre✓ available to them, it shrinks the awesomeness of having it all to myself.
TSA Pre✓ allows you a number of things. At the minimum, it lets you skip the long lines in security because you usually go through the line usually for First Class flyers, but the best benefit is when you go through security, it’s super fast because you don’t have to take off your shoes, pull out your liquids, or your laptops. You just put everything in your bag, toss it through the scanner, go through the metal detector, grab your bags and go. So smooth. Only on the occasion when I forget to dump out my water does it cause some annoyance, but that doesn’t happen often, and either way I get to go back through the quick security point.
My favorite part about it is that since I go through security points in less than 5 minutes usually, it leaves me plenty of time to go and have a complimentary drink in a lounge since I have a card that lets me get free entry – more to come on that later.
Last December, my friend Bobby and I had a stop at another airport and I had some vouchers for the United lounge. Problem was, it was on the other side of the airport and we had to go out of security and back through to get to the lounge. Well, thanks to the TSA Pre✓, we went through security quickly, got some free drinks and food, and then made our way back with plenty of time to still catch our flight. So great!
There are a number of ways to get TSA Pre✓ these days. You can go to the TSA Pre✓ check website and apply for $85. It lasts 5 years. Good stuff.
The other way, and the way I ended up going, was to apply for a Global Entry card. This gets you all the benefits of TSA Pre✓ plus you get expedited entry back into the states when going through customs. It ties to your passport, so you don’t even need to carry your card. This is $15 more costing you $100 for this route, and also lasts 5 years.
Either way you go, you usually have to do some sort of background check and go in a talk to someone. When I was doing this a few years back, the wait was a few months out. Totally worth it though!
If you travel, and don’t have TSA Pre✓ then you’re doing it wrong. Go sign up today!
If you have it, what do you think? If you don’t and aren’t going to, why not? Leave me some info in the comments below.