Last Year I Did and You Can Too.

Navigating through airport security can be a long and involved process. With the addition of ever new scanning equipment and procedures at the TSA checkpoint, getting through is taking longer than ever. Many airports have consolidated their terminal security checks which have made for longer lines. With many of us no longer checking bags, we are lugging even more though the scanners.

How to make it less of a bother? The number one thing you can do to is become a TSA Known Traveler. With this status you get access to the separate TSA “Precheck” or “Pre” line. When I first saw this line I assumed it was restricted to First Class passengers or Airline employees. Nope. You too can use this line, for a price.

The benefits of using TSA Pre are; expedited processing, no requirement to remove shoes, belts or jackets. If you have a laptop there is no need to remove it from its case. Your toiletry bag can stay in your luggage. Another benefit is that minor children 12 and under can accompany those with Known Traveler status through expedited processing.

As a Known Traveler, many of the bothers of getting through security go away.  The processes involved with going through the TSA Pre line, are a lot like security checks were before 2001 or like they are everywhere outside of the US  

So, how do I get this status? It is not a convenient process. You need to be a US citizen or legal resident. Travelers are required to submit an application (in person) to a designated TSA center and pay a $85 processing fee. The TSA has application centers at 280 locations across the country. Check for your nearest center and for additional information on the application. The TSA currently takes 2-3 weeks to notify applicants of their Known Traveler numbers.  

If you work for Uncle Sam you are in luck. There are several programs in place for Government workers to bypass the application and fee altogether. Military service members can add their Department of Defense I.D. number to their reservation. With this number added to the reservation, their printed boarding pass will reflect “TSA Pre” in the upper left hand corner. It’s that simple. 

Known Traveler is not for everyone. To make security less of a bother, you can always schedule trips on off peak travel days and hours when the lines are shorter. 

Keep Your Travel Documents Handy With a Holder!

Travelon ID and Boarding Pass / Passport Holder with Snap Closure
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(price as of Oct 30, 2015)

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