For frequent travelers, there is nothing as frustrating as standing in unending airport security lines. It is for this reason that TSA Precheck was introduced to make security process faster, more comfortable, and efficient. TSA Precheck is a government-run program that gives travelers expedited screening at security checkpoints. In this article, we will outline the steps that will help you get TSA Precheck easily and also answer some frequently asked questions about the program.
II. Step-by-Step Guide
TSA Precheck is available to all U.S citizens and legal residents who have submitted to and passed a background check. Here are the steps to follow to obtain your TSA Precheck.
Step 1: Complete the online application at the TSA Precheck official website. The application process is straightforward and takes about 5-10 minutes. The application fee is $85, which is valid for five years.
Step 2: Schedule an appointment at an enrollment center close to you, which is located in almost every major U.S. city. After scheduling, you will be issued with a confirmation code.
Step 3: Attend your appointment at the enrollment center. Make sure you bring necessary documents to your appointment, which include a valid passport or driver’s license and birth certificate. Fingerprints and a photo of you will also be taken. You can pay the fee using a credit card, check, or money order.
Step 4: Receive your TSA Precheck Known Traveler Number (KTN), usually provided via email within 5-7 days of the appointment. You can also check your status online.
III. Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for TSA Precheck?
TSA Precheck is available to all U.S citizens and legal residents who have submitted to and passed a background check. The background check includes providing personal information and fingerprints.
What benefits does TSA Precheck provide?
TSA Precheck provides expedited screening at security checkpoints. This means that travelers can keep their shoes, belts, and lightweight jackets on, leave laptops and liquids in their hand luggage, and breeze through designated security lanes at over 200 airports in the U.S.
How long does TSA Precheck last?
TSA Precheck status is valid for five years from the date of approval.
Can you use TSA Precheck for international flights?
Yes, you can use TSA Precheck for international flights. TSA Precheck is also an excellent option for passengers who frequently travel internationally because most global airlines offer it. The only downside is that it cannot be used when landing in some foreign countries.
IV. Personal Experience
Applying for TSA Precheck is an easy process, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. My application took approximately ten minutes to complete online, and the approval process took a little over a week. During the appointment, I was asked to provide my passport and pay the $85 fee. After taking my photo and fingerprints, I received my TSA Precheck Known Traveler Number, and I have been enjoying its benefits since then.
Tip: Make sure you arrive at the enrollment center early so that you can get fingerprinted and photo taken quickly and get back to your regular schedule
V. Comparison Guide
While TSA Precheck remains the most popular trusted traveler program in the U.S, there are still other programs to consider for frequent travelers who require global clearance. These programs include Nexus and Global Entry. Here’s a comparison of the three programs.
|Possible for some airlines
|10-15 minutes to complete application, background check and security appointment
|$50 for 5yrs
|Yes, between the US and Canada by land, sea, or air
|Longer application process and requirements
|Yes, automatic TSA Precheck with the US and many other foreign countries around the world
|Longer application process and requirements
VI. Insider Tips
Register with a Known Traveler Program partner airline: Airline couriers or the airline’s corporate travel portal will offer sign-up options for most TSA security options, including TSA Precheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR.
Double check your personal information: Ensure that you double-check all of your personal and application information before submitting your TSA Precheck application. This includes spelling and punctuation, and official documentation.
Arrive at the airport early: While TSA Precheck minimizes the time and effort required to pass through airport security checkpoints, it doesn’t prevent delays from airport parking, long lines, or carry-on bag gate-checking. Be sure to plan accordingly.
TSA Precheck is a useful program for frequent travelers, and its expedited screening process saves you time at the airport. Follow our step-by-step guide to get TSA Precheck easily. Make sure to read through the frequently asked questions, take note of the insider tips, and consider other trusted traveler programs before committing. A fair warning: Once you’ve got TSA Precheck, it’s hard to travel again without it.