The biggest advantage of TSA PreCheck is that it allows you to pass through security without having to remove your jacket, shoes, belt, or liquids. In many circumstances, this can help the separate TSA PreCheck lines go faster. However, not all airports have a PreCheck line so it's important to check before you travel what kind of screening you will be subjected to.
TSA PreCheck is a membership program that gives travelers who want to speed through security a way in. The program is composed of three tiers of membership: basic, expedited, and enhanced. Basic members receive a token that allows them to go through security quickly by answering a few questions about themselves and their belongings. They can't bring on an item in their carry-on or checked bag that wouldn't fit in a pocket or container with less than 100 ml (3.4 oz) of liquid.
Expedited members receive an identification number that allows them to skip the regular security line and go through a special "express" lane. There are no membership requirements for entry into this lane, but it tends to be more crowded than the normal security line.
Enhanced members can use their identification numbers for both the regular security line and the express lane. They receive a member badge that allows access to the express lane at most airports.
TSA PreCheck (r) accelerated screening is available to all members of the United States Armed Forces, including those serving in the Reserves and National Guard, while travelling on partner airlines. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and cannot be convicted of a crime by a court of law.
Those who are accepted into the program will be given a token valid for one year that can be used at any participating airline. They will also receive a backpack screening kit which includes a laptop bag and belt with slots for their cell phone and wallet along with an instructional video to help them prepare their belongings for screening. In addition, applicants who qualify will have their fingerprints sent directly to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) to be removed from the national criminal database after completion of their travel.
Military travelers should always check with their carrier before embarking on a trip to ensure they will be allowed to fly with their ID card. Some carriers may not allow active duty personnel to use PreCheck due to security concerns. Also remember that anyone can steal your ID card at any point during your trip so keep your password safe and don't give it out easily!
PreCheck is offered only through private partnerships with airline companies and therefore not all travelers will be able to take advantage of this benefit.
PreCheck is beneficial for domestic passengers, but it does not include Global Entry privileges, and there is no opportunity to upgrade at a discounted charge. TSA PreCheck benefits are included with Global Entry membership, which costs only $15 extra. But while both programs can save travelers time at the checkpoint, they serve different purposes. PreCheck is designed to streamline the travel experience by skipping the traditional security line by passing through an expedited screening process. It includes features such as removing metal from your bag and body, scanning your luggage in x-ray machines, and answering personal questions about yourself and your travel plans via an online questionnaire.
Global Entry is designed to make entering the United States easier by reducing or eliminating the need for people to submit information manually on paper forms. This program allows eligible travelers to enter the country through automated kiosks located at land border crossings and at some airports.
Those who have never entered the United States before may be interested in learning that there is now an option called "Visit USA Visas." This program provides a way for travelers to receive a free, short-term visitor's visa allowing them to come to the United States for tourism or business. They must meet certain requirements to be approved for this type of visa.
People who are already members of Global Entry can use their member number as a reference when they apply for Visit USA Visas.
At first appearance, the two services appear to have significant differences. To begin, TSA PreCheck is now offered at more airports. While CLEAR prices are more than TSA PreCheck fees, their lineups at airports are substantially shorter, allowing travelers to get to their gates faster. In addition, CLEAR requires that you bring your own laptop for screening while TSA PreCheck allows them to use your device.
However, there are some features of both programs that may not be apparent at first glance. For example, both services offer online check-in which allows you to avoid long lines at the airport by doing it from home or wherever you have an internet connection. Both also provide insurance against lost, stolen, or damaged devices. Finally, both give travelers the option to decline any form of screening if they choose not to.
In conclusion, both TSA PreCheck and CLEAR offer advantages for travelers looking to speed through security checkpoints. However, if you can afford it, we recommend getting CLEAR because they screen your laptop instead of asking you to remove it from its case which makes going through security much easier for everyone in the family.
TSA PreCheck (r) Application Program is exclusively available to U.S. citizens, nationals, and lawful permanent residents. Applicants may be disqualified owing to insufficient or incorrect application information, violations of transportation security standards, or disqualifying criminal charges and circumstances. In addition, all members of the same family (including spouses and children) are required to qualify together as one application.
TSA PreCheck is free to apply for and there is no charge for the screening process. However, those who are approved will need to pay an enrollment fee of $85 for an annual membership. This fee covers the cost of processing applications, verifying identity, and providing other services that help make the program effective at reducing passenger wait times during security screening.
Those who qualify can download the application form from tsa.gov/tsa-precheck and submit it along with a non-refundable $85 fee by January 31, 2018. The application must be completed in its entirety before it can be submitted. No partial applications are accepted. If your application is denied, you will not be notified; instead, you will receive an entry code that can be used to apply again in 2019.
The application process is simple and takes about 15 minutes to complete. There is also an option to video chat with a TSA officer if necessary. Before starting the application, make sure you're logged into the TSA website first.