TSA PRECHECK PROGRAM BENEFITS
TSA PreCheck is a program that allows eligible travelers to get through airport security more quickly. Nothing is more stressful than worrying about making a flight on time due to a long wait at the TSA checkpoint. However, those who enroll in a known traveler program can get through lines much more quickly with expedited security procedures. Enrollees can even avoid some of the less-desirable security measures that other travelers need to go through, such as taking off one’s shoes.
To become a trusted traveler, you will need to meet a variety of requirements and fill out an application. Not everyone will get approved for the program, but if you are a frequent flier, there are countless reasons why it is worth applying. Below, learn more about the TSA PreCheck benefits you can enjoy and discover other important information about this program.
What is TSA PreCheck?
When you enroll in the PreCheck TSA program, you qualify for expedited security screenings when leaving U.S. airports. There are a variety of known traveler programs that you can sign up for if you are a frequent flier or if you cross the U.S. border on a regular basis for any reason. Not all of these programs are the same, though, so it is important to learn which program may be right for you.
In addition to TSA program, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers other services that frequent travelers can sign up for.
Such programs include:
While similar to TSA programs, these services offer different benefits on their own. However, you may also qualify for the TSA pre-approved service automatically if you enroll in one of the programs listed above.
What are the benefits of TSA PreCheck?
As a TSA pre-approved customer, you can wait in an express line rather than standing in the regular line. In this line, you can enjoy a variety of benefits that not only make it faster to get through the line, but make the traveling a more enjoyable experience altogether. First, if you are a known traveler, you can get through security without removing items such as:
- Lightweight jackets.
If you have flown without using this program before, you know that customers who wait in standard lines need to remove all of these items. Not only does this take longer, it also can be an uncomfortable experience.
Another benefit of TSA PreCheck is that you do not have to carry around any extra credentials to stand in the expedited security line. Rather than getting a card after you enroll in the program, your boarding pass will indicate that you are a member. There are already so many things to keep organized when you go to the airport, such as your ID or passport, boarding pass and personal items. When you are in a known traveler program, you only need your boarding pass as well as the other items you would regularly need to get through security.
While this program makes you eligible to stand in an expedited security lane, you may notice that not all TSA PreCheck airports will have a lane dedicated to pre-pass customers at all times. In this case, you can still use the benefits of your membership in a regular security lane by showing your boarding pass. To avoid unforeseen waits, you can always check the TSA website to ensure that an express security lane will be available for your departure.
For more information, download our informative guide.
How much time do you save in a TSA pre check line?
The biggest benefit of using this program is that you can save a great deal of time going through airport security. In fact, the TSA reports that as of August 2018, approximately 94 percent of customers waited for less than five minutes when going through an expedited lane.
While there will still be lines to deal with at any security checkpoint, you will typically move through the line much more quickly than you would with a standard security lane. Because the TSA pre-screen process allows you keep all articles of clothing on during the screening procedures, you will also save time not putting your shoes and belt back on after going through the checkpoint.
It is important to note that even members of a trusted traveler program can be pulled aside for additional security checks, as this is simply the TSA policy. Furthermore, the TSA security measures change continually and prescreen members are not guaranteed expedited services for every trip.
How does TSA pre check work?
While most people would enjoy using TSA PreCheck benefits, not everyone is eligible. To become a known traveler, you must start by submitting an application and paying a fee. Next, you will need to schedule an appointment in order to have an interview at an enrollment center, which involves giving your fingerprints and submitting to a background check.
After passing the background check and getting accepted into the program, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN). You will need to enter your KTN when buying a plane ticket so that your PreCheck membership is printed on your boarding pass. Once you have a boarding pass that indicates your membership, you can simply get into a TSA PreCheck line to enjoy the expedited security process.
Where can you use TSA Precheck?
After enrolling in the program, you can use more than 50TSA PreCheck airlinesthat have partnered with the TSA. Overall, there are more than 200 airports that provide expedited security screenings to members.
At any rate, keep in mind that the program only allows you to use expedited security services when leaving a participating U.S. airport, regardless of where your destination is. You cannot use your benefits when traveling from a foreign country’s airport due to the fact that this service is only available for domestic return flights. In other words, if you are returning to the U.S. from an international flight, you cannot use PreCheck even if you are flying to a participating airport in the U.S.
Download our guide for more information on TSA PreCheck.