TSA PreCheck

Pros & Cons for TSA PreCheck: Is it worth it?

imagesPat Mullaly, SafeTravel

Travellers in the USA are jamming airport security lines, causing long wait times and frustrated passengers. There is a way to cut the line: TSA PreCheck Program.

Background: To speed passengers through Security Check Points at many U.S. airport departure gates, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented the PreCheck Program in 2011. This is an intelligence-based system to expedite airport security.

The ProsPassengers who apply and are accepted into the TSA PreCheck Program with Trusted Traveller Status:

  • Can skip the long wait and go directly to the TSA PreCheck line which is almost always shorter
  • Do not have to remove shoes, jackets and belts, unpack valuables or remove 3-1-1 liquids
  • Avoid body scanners and the pat-down (Note: the TSA has the right to perform random security checks.)

The ConsYou must apply for the program in person or online with proper documentation and make an appointment to be fingerprinted.

  • There is a non-refundable fee of $85.00 when you pre-enroll. If you are accepted, your Trusted Traveller Status is valid for five years. If you are not accepted, that $85.00 will not be returned. (See the TSA.gov website for disqualifying offenses.)
  • TSA PreCheck is a domestic program and is not available on every airline or at every airport. Check the TSA.gov Map to learn which states and airports are included in the program.

International travellers should apply for Global Entry which has a TSA PreCheck Program. Cost is $100.

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