You're fed up with waiting in security lines when you prefer to drink coffee or shop in the duty-free shops? To speed up your safety journey with TSA PreCheck and similar services.
Long waits are never pleasant, especially if you are in a hurry ̵
TSA PreCheck is available at over 200 US airports for domestic and international flights with a separate line of security. With an average waiting time of about five minutes, TSA-approved travelers can pass through the metal detector without having to remove their shoes, light jacket or belt and store their laptops and liquids in their carry-on luggage. Given the amount of time normally wasted during this process, it is easy to see why this service is popular with travelers.
The application process includes some formalities, a brief interview to determine your status as a low-risk traveler and a $ 85 fee for a five-year membership. Some credit cards and some loyalty programs offer sign up credits to cover the cost of the application. If you have a ticket with airline miles or other travel-related benefits, be sure to check if TSA is available. PreCheck is one of the benefits. The only minor downside is the fact that this service is only valid on participating airlines.
Before you choose TSA PreCheck, read on. Some of the related programs listed below include TSA PreCheck in their fees.
Global Entry is particularly beneficial for frequent international travelers and helps passengers get to the baggage claim area faster and more independently. This US Customs and Border Protection program allows travelers to accelerate their arrival in the country by providing designated kiosks. There you can scan the passport and fingerprints to verify your identity and print a transaction receipt.
Unlike TSA PreCheck, Global Entry is not only valid for US citizens and airports. This service is available at many airports around the globe and offers its members the same benefits. In addition, it is valid for any airline you choose, and membership includes TSA PreCheck.
The application process includes a brief interview, a background check, and a $ 100 fee for a five-year membership. Global Entry is the key to stress-free travel abroad.
Travelers traveling between the US and Canada regularly can sign up for the NEXUS travel program to enhance their airport experience. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada and the US can benefit from accelerated demonstrations when they arrive in either country, whether by air, land or sea. Similar to Global Entry, the process includes special kiosks for immigration, little to no waiting, and automatic participation in the TSA PreCheck program for US citizens.
Applicants must complete an interview, pass a background check, and receive approval from both the United States and Canada to enroll in the program. The registration fee is 50 US dollars. The membership is valid for five years. Even if you are a US citizen and do not intend to travel to Canada soon, this will mean a significant savings compared to applying for TSA PreCheck. When traveling through the global online registration system, travelers can apply for global entry at the same time.
A trusted travelers program available to frequent visitors to Mexico is the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI). It's like NEXUS, just for the border between the US and Mexico. Members returning to the United States benefit from accelerated clearance by using the designated lanes at the airport and at the land border ports in the south.
As with most programs, applicants must undergo a background check and a job interview. The five-year membership costs $ 122.50 and includes TSA PreCheck.
In conjunction with TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, this privately operated membership program skips manual proof of identity and leads directly to the review panel. Upon arrival at the airport, CLEAR travelers will be redirected to a specific area using special passport, fingerprint and iris scanner scanners, and then escorted to the checkpoint, where they will wait either in the regular line or on the TSA PreCheck lane, if already logged in in program.
The service alone may not lead you from the entrance to your gate in a jiffy, but it will certainly shorten your waiting time. You can make the most of it when using it in conjunction with TSA PreCheck.
However, the opinions on the usefulness of the CLEAR service are very different. Satisfied members praise CLEAR not only for saving time, but also for the simple registration process compared to other services. No interview is required, and the registration process can easily take five minutes. Others are discouraged by the high price: An annual fee of $ 179 excluding TSA PreCheck or other services is a bit expensive. It's probably not worth buying CLEAR through other accelerated programs unless you're always on business, and every minute you limit your time to security is precious.
International Trusted Traveler Programs
Each year, immigration regulations are changing existing ones and adding new services to facilitate passenger traffic at airports around the world. The more agreements countries conclude, the easier it is for their citizens to travel to and from these places. For example, US citizens have accelerated their entry requirements for travel between Canada and Mexico. However, there are other travel programs (other than Global Entry) that can benefit Americans when visiting different countries. Here are some examples of such Trusted Traveler programs.
- Ireland : US Preclearance Facility. At this Dublin 2 Terminal 2 facility, passengers traveling to the United States can go through immigration and all necessary checks prior to departure. At the finish, US citizens are welcomed as domestic travelers and can skip the long immigration line to get straight to the baggage claim area.
- Germany : EasyPASS. Holders of US electronic passports can use separate gateways (eGates) on which travelers can scan their document and arrive within minutes. No customs declaration, no immigration lines.
If you are traveling abroad, it is worthwhile to look for the country in which you are traveling to see if there are any programs that you can sign up for, or to certain airports with designated areas with quick access zones for citizens from approved countries.
Airport security does not have to be a burden. If you're a frequent flyer or an avid globetrotter and do not want to waste time waiting in endless lines, there are services that will make your experience more efficient and stress-free. You just have to pick the right one for you.