If you’re anything like most people, you arrive at the airport several hours before any flight because you already know getting through security will be a tedious process: Long lines, screen checks, baggage checks, belt and shoe removal, body scans, and pat downs.
But did you know there is a quicker way? You can sign up for TSA PreCheck and zip past future lines with your shoes still on your feet, your laptop in your arms, and a smile on your face.
What is TSA?
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in November 2001, as a direct response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Their primary purpose is to ensure that all flights around the clock in the United States, including direct international flights, are secure. It is a process that is on-going from the time you book your reservation to the time you arrive at your destination.
Interesting fact: TSA doesn’t only monitor the skies. With millions of trips being taken on different modes of public transportation daily, they carefully watch land-based transportation as well.
Thank you for keeping us safe, TSA!
What is TSA PreCheck?
Everyone agrees that safety is the number one priority and therefore, security checks are necessary.
Still- long lines can be a drag.
Which is why TSA PreCheck was developed in 2011. It’s a pre-screening program designed to move the lines along faster by allowing low-risk travelers to bypass traditional wait lines. The benefits are expedited lines and fewer restrictions; Flyers aren’t asked to remove their shoes, belts, jackets or electronics.
With currently more than 5 million participating members, the pre-approved lines are sometimes in and out within 5 minutes. Being a member doesn’t always guarantee you will skip the line because random checks are performed routinely. However, the majority of the time, you can expect to breeze on by.
How to Apply
The sort-of bad news is: you will need to set aside one morning to go through the application process. You can start out by applying online, but you have to finish in person for the background check and fingerprinting.
The good news is: After you do that and pay the non-refundable $100 fee, you are set for five years.
Even more good news is: Your status could be approved and activated in as little as one week!
To find out more information and see a list of participating airlines visit, https://www.tsa.gov/
Happy flying, friends!