While a lot of people will be able to relax and enjoy the warmer weather during spring break, there will also be painfully long lines for those flying to their destinations. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) predicts that travel volumes could exceed pre-pandemic levels this year, making wait times particularly bad.
You might want to sign up for TSA PreCheck if you want to cut down on wait times. To help you decide if it’s right for you, here’s what you need to know.
How does TSA PreCheck work?
TSA PreCheck is a service that the TSA provides to help travelers get through airport security more quickly. Travelers who pass the necessary historical verifications and pay the expense can go through the exceptional TSA PreCheck lines at the air terminal. They likewise will not be expected to take off shoes, workstations, little fluids, belts, or light coats while going through the scanners.
The typical TSA PreCheck passenger waited less than five minutes to enter security in February 2023. And if you’ve ever been held up in line just as your flight is about to take off, you know how important that is.
Is TSA PreCheck worth the effort?
TSA PreCheck expedited screening benefits can be purchased for $85 in 2023. This is good for five years, and you can bring any children under the age of 12 who are traveling with you to the TSA PreCheck lines for free. This costs approximately $17 annually in total.
If you travel frequently, it’s not a bad deal. However, if you only fly once or twice a year, it might not be worth it.
Due to the fact that some airline credit cards cover the necessary fees, cardholders may be more motivated to use TSA PreCheck. Therefore, you might be able to obtain your TSA PreCheck benefits for free. If you have a travel or airline credit card, investigate this.
However, you should also investigate Global Entry prior to making your final decision. This program is similar, but it aims to expedite international travelers’ customs screening in the United States. The application requirements are a little more stringent, and it costs $100 for five years. However, you will also automatically receive TSA PreCheck benefits if you sign up for Global Entry.
The application process for TSA PreCheck membership consists of two steps.
To begin, you will need to fill out an online application with some fundamental personal data, such as your name, birth date, and contact information. The next step is to schedule and show up for an in-person appointment at one of the more than 500 enrollment centers located all over the country.
The TSA will take your fingerprints and run a background check on you at this appointment. If you have certain felonies on your record or are under want, warrant, or indictment for a felony, you may not be eligible for TSA PreCheck.
You will need to bring proof of your citizenship and identity. You can use an Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Identification Card instead of an expired U.S. passport. An unissued foreign passport and an immigration visa or green card may be brought by immigrants. The complete list of acceptable forms of identification that you can use to get approved is provided here.
The majority of applicants are granted approval within three to five days, but it can take up to sixty days. Therefore, if you want to avoid waiting in line on your subsequent trip, it is best to complete this immediately if you intend to travel soon.