When looking to fly, travel time is more than just the flight duration. There’s the commute to the airport, check-in lines, bag drop-off lines, customs (if travelling internationally), and the TSA line, which is always crowded.
The lines grow longer, and travellers’ schedules become more constrained.
Following a summer of flight delays, cancellations, lost bags, and long airport lines, travellers are looking for ways to streamline the process. TSA PreCheck does not guarantee on-time boarding, but it can save travellers time.
Here’s what visitors should know about the TSA PreCheck programme.
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What exactly is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is a programme that allows travellers to bypass security lines at U.S. airports.
Once accepted into the programme, travellers must submit fingerprints, pay a nonrefundable fee, and undergo a background check. They are then assigned a Known Traveler Number. TSA PreCheck does not come with an ID card.
Is TSA PreCheck worth the cost?
It is determined by what travellers value. Flyers do not require it to travel, but those who visit an airport more than a few times per year may find it useful.
According to a TSA spokesperson, 95% of PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes in August.
One of the most appealing aspects of the programme is its simplicity. When going through security, travellers with PreCheck do not need to remove their shoes, belts, light jackets, or laptop computers from their bags.
What is the cost of TSA PreCheck?
A nonrefundable fee of $85. is included in the initial application. A nonrefundable fee of $70 is required for online renewals.
There is a list of credit cards and loyalty programmes that either cover the application fee as a member benefit or allow travellers to pay for it with rewards points.
How do I sign up for TSA PreCheck?
Travelers can learn more about the programme at tsa.gov/precheck and sign up by clicking on this link.
After completing the form online, travellers can schedule an appointment at an enrollment centre to complete the process by providing documentation, fingerprints, and payment. Some centres accept walk-ins, but travellers must ensure they have all necessary documentation.
What happens during the TSA PreCheck “interview”?
Not a lot.
When a traveller registers with the necessary identification documents, an agent will summon them for a “interview,” during which they will be asked to register all of their fingerprints. In addition, the applicant must confirm their address, take a quick photo, and pay the application fee.
When will my TSA PreCheck card expire?
TSA PreCheck membership is valid for five years.
Around six months before their expiration date, travellers will be notified to renew.