Before getting TSA-Precheck, I lived in constant dread of airport security lines. I frequently flew out of some of the busiest airports in the US, so you never knew what you were going to get when you got to the line. Could be a five-minute breeze, or it could be a 45-minute slow-moving disaster. It was a gamble every time I had to figure out the best time to arrive at the airport. And once you got up to that germ-infested conveyer belt to scan your items, you had to unpack what seemed like your entire suitcase to check for liquids, remove your nicely snug laptop, then take off your shoes.
I’m glad to say; those days are long gone (unless I travel outside the country).
Over five years ago, I made one of the best travel investments in my life by getting TSA-precheck, and it has made my US travels smooth-sailing. I highly recommend it for anyone who travels - frequent or not. And here's why!
What Is TSA Pre-Check?
TSA pre-check is a pre-screening system that allows you to bypass the standard security lines at airports in favor of a quicker way through.
How Does It Work?
Once you become a “member”, security lines are a breeze. That means, no taking off your shoes, no pulling laptops out your bag, and no reorganizing your suitcase to get to your liquids. You just put your luggage through the security scanner, then walk right through. Easy-Peezy.
Why Should You Get It?
Because, why not? You’re paying $100 or less for five years of airport traffic avoidance. I literally have never been in a pre-check security line for longer than 15 minutes, and even that is a stretch. In fact, in July 2019 alone, 93% of TSA pre-check passengers waited less than five minutes to get through security.
I spend less time in the airport because I know I don’t need long to get through, so that translates to more time at my destination.
How Do You Get It?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
It's relatively simple to get pre-check. Following the official TSA website is your best bet, but the steps go like this:
- Fill out the online application.
- Make an in-person appointment for a background check.
- Add your Known Traveler Number (virtually a membership number) to your plane tickets, and you’re on your way to hassle-free security!
Want More For Your Money?
Apply for Global Entry, which grants you express US customs, and get TSA Pre-Check as a bonus!
Have you applied for TSA pre-check? Share your experiences in the comments!