If you're a real pro at Breezing Through Security, you know exactly what shoes to wear so you don't hop around while trying to yank off lace-up boots and which carry on to bring so you don't have to go through your whole bag to get that laptop out. What if you didn't have to worry about either? Wouldn't getting through to your gate feel even breezier? Welcome to the experience of the TSA PreCheck line. And if you qualify as a "low risk traveler", you can partake in it too.
Here are Travelle’s tips on how to sign up for the TSA Precheck program and how to make the most of this program’s perks:
Wait, What Is TSA PreCheck?
The TSA came up with the program to help "low risk travelers" get through airport security faster and more efficiently. They base eligibility on the analysis of passenger data, so if you're in good standing, you are in for some perks.
What Are The Perks?
Not only can you use the fast lane at the security checkpoint, but you also don't have to worry about taking off your shoes, belt, jacket or sweater. You also don't have to take out your laptop or liquids, gels, creams or any other pamper products you may want to cover yourself in as long as they're under 100ml (3.4floz).
Does It Matter Which Airline I Fly?
Yes. The list of airlines that can hook you up includes: Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airlines, and Virgin America among others. The full list can be found here. When booking your flights, provide your Known Traveler Number (KTN) in the indicated box of your reservation, which will translate into a TSA pre indicator on your boarding pass.
How About Where I Fly To And From?
Again, it depends. Once you are TSA PreCheck approved your benefits apply to all domestic flights. Just recently, the TSA also expanded this program to international flights as well! They may not always let you use the "express lane" for those though.
Great! Where Do I Sign?
The TSA has just recently launched a one-time fee-based ($85) application process, where almost anyone well behaved is eligible! I say almost because you need to be a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. You can get around that part if you're a foreigner enrolled in Global Entry. If you are in good shape on that front, and have not been convicted of certain crimes, you can apply away.
To the get the ball rolling, complete the online application and follow the steps. Once approved, you don't have to worry about it again for 5 years.
Anything Else That Can Help Me PreCheck The TSA Boxes?
Sure thing. Those who enrolled in a TSA pre-application program, participants of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Trusted Traveler Programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI, as well as any other individuals who have been provided a KTN are qualified without the fee. If you're not sure which of the acronym's is best suited for you, check the comparison chart.
Strutting through a short security check line with your outfit and bags intact? Now that's traveling in style.