Tired of waiting in long airport security lines and wondering how to get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
Yeah, we know the feeling.
You either get to the airport super early and have to find a way to kill two hours before your flight ( and that’s only if your flight is on time ).
Or you get to the airport super early and nearly have a heart attack because the security line almost made you miss your flight.
There’s got to be an easier way to get through airport security without the panic attack.
Well, there is an easier way…
And that’s TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
You’ve probably heard of it or seen it at the airport by now.
Or maybe you’ve seen fellow travelers bypass the normal airport security and use the special VIP line just a few feet away.
Well, if you’re wondering how YOU can get access to that special line at security…
We’re going to tell you the steps to get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry below!
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- What is TSA PreCheck?
- TSA PreCheck Cost
- TSA PreCheck Application
- What Documents Do You Need for a TSA PreCheck?
- How Long Does It Take To Get TSA PreCheck?
- How Long Does TSA PreCheck Last?
- Which Airlines Participate in TSA PreCheck?
- What Is Global Entry?
- Global Entry Cost
- Global Entry Application
- What Documents Do You Need For Global Entry?
- How Long Does It Take To Get Global Entry?
- How Long Does Global Entry Last?
- Should I Get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
Say goodbye to those airport security lines!
Let’s start off with how to get TSA PreCheck!
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is a program that allows members to bypass long security lines at the airport. The members of the program have already gone through pre-screening and a background check.
They’re basically pre-approved travelers that can skip normal airport security lines.
And skipping normal security lines isn’t the only benefit of this program.
Travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck do not have to remove the following items in airport security lines:
- light jackets
So when you get to skip the hassle of removing all those items…
You tend to save a lot of time most travelers end up wasting at the airport.
In fact, nearly all of TSA PreCheck member wait less than five minutes in airport security lines.
Yep. Only five minutes or less.
So if you know you’re going to have more than 4 flights each year…
We think TSA PreCheck is well worth the price of membership.
Can you really put a price on stress-free traveling?
TSA PreCheck Cost
TSA PreCheck costs $85 for five years of membership. That’s only $17 per year!
TSA PreCheck Application
There are two steps to applying for TSA PreCheck:
- Filling out an online application and scheduling an in-person appointment at an enrollment center. You can find the online application here.
- Completing the in-person appointment. The step includes an interview, background check, and they will collect your fingerprints. You can search here to find a TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center close to you.
What Documents Do You Need for a TSA PreCheck Application?
You’ll need the following documents when applying for a TSA PreCheck:
- US Passport, Driver’s License, or State I.D. Card
- Certified copy of your birth certificate ( no scans! )
How Long Does It Take To Get TSA PreCheck?
After your application gets approved, you’ll receive your Known Traveler Number within 4 weeks.
How Long Does TSA PreCheck Last?
TSA PreCheck lasts for five years after your application gets approved. After five years of service, your TSA PreCheck will no longer work and you’ll need to reapply again. You’ll also need to pay the same $85 application fee each time you apply.
Which airlines participate in TSA PreCheck?
There are many airlines that meet the standardized system and checkpoint requirements for TSA PreCheck. The following airlines participate in PreCheck:
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- American Airlines
- Cape Air
- Delta Air Lines
- Etihad Airways
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiin Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Seaborne Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin America
You can view the full list of participating airlines on the TSA’s website.
What Is Global Entry?
Global Entry is a program that allows members to bypass long security lines at the airport. In addition to bypassing TSA security lines, Global Entry allows you to bypass long lines at Customs when reentering the country. The members of the program have already gone through pre-screening and a background check.
Global Entry Cost
The application cost for Global Entry is $100 per person.
Global Entry Application
Like TSA PreCheck, there are 3 steps to applying for Global Entry:
- Create an account with the Trusted Traveler Program
- Fill out an online application and schedule an in-person appointment at an enrollment center. You can find the online application here.
- Completing the in-person appointment. The step includes an interview, background check, and they will collect your fingerprints. You can search here to find a Global Entry Enrollment Center close to you. Warning: Plan on making a long drive to your closest enrollment center. Each state typically only has one or two enrollment centers to choose from.
What Documents Do You Need For Global Entry?
You’ll need the following documents when applying for Global Entry:
- US Passport
- Driver’s License or State I.D. Card
- If you hold a green card, you will need to bring your machine-readable card
How Long Does It Take To Get Global Entry?
It can take up to 6-8 weeks to receive your global entry card after your interview. It’s important you leave your correct address on your application because USPS cannot forward the envelope with your card in it.
If you do not receive your card in the mail and you have a trip coming up…
You do not need the physical card to access your Global Entry benefits. You will only need your card whenever you need to cross country borders on land.
An example would be if you’re in the United States and plan on taking a road trip to Canada or Mexico.
How Long Does Global Entry last?
Your membership lasts for 5 years after you’re approved for Global Entry. After 5 years, you will need to submit another application and pay the $100 fee.
But at least that works out to only $20 per year! It’s well worth the price of the membership if you need to take multiple international flights within the 5 year period.
Should I Get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
That is a common question for those looking to apply for one of the memberships.
And the answer is: it depends.
Do you know you’re going to travel outside the country more than once in the next 5 years?
If so, then Global Entry is probably the better choice for you.
It’s only an extra $15 to apply for Global Entry. And it’s well worth it if you get to skip those frustrating lines at Customs.
You can easily spend 2 hours waiting in line at Customs and risk missing a connecting flight from waiting so long.
But if you’re planning on only taking domestic flights in the next 5 years, then you’re better off with TSA PreCheck. There’s no point in applying for Global Entry if you have no plans on leaving the country in the next 5 years.
Just keep in mind… plans do change! And we hope you do get the chance to travel out of the country and see new places.
There you have it!
This guide should give you everything you need to know to get your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application started.
If you fly more than twice a year, then you should apply for one of these memberships.
There’s nothing better than skipping long lines at the airport. It’s like a FastPass the lasts for 5 years!
Have you ever used TSA PreCheck or Global Entry?
How did you enjoy these programs? Do you think it’s worth the money?
Tell us about your experience in the Comment Section!