How to Shorten Your Wait in Airport Security Lines

How to Shorten Your Wait in Airport Security Lines

Hurry Up and Wait

TSA lines at the airports have become ridiculously long, and travelers are getting sick of the delays.  There have been horror stories about people arriving at the airport two hours before their flight and still missing it because they got hung up in the TSA lines.

airport security lines
Look familiar?

If you fly more than once or twice a year, there is a service that may well be worth the $85 it costs.  It is called TSA Pre-Check, and it gives you five years of being treated like a VIP traveler.  You still have to go through security, but you will not have to remove your shoes, laptops, belts, jackets, or carry on liquids that comply with TSA size restrictions.

airport security lines tsa pre check

Another benefit is that TSA Pre-Check lines are usually significantly shorter than regular TSA lines.  In June of this year, 95% of the people who utilized TSA Pre-Check reported waiting in line five minutes or less.  (Can you imagine?!??)

But before you rush into enrollment, there are a few additional things to consider:

  1. Some of the airports in this country do not accommodate TSA Pre-Check. If you’re at one of them, you will have to go through the normal TSA screening procedure anyway.
  2. Some of the airlines at the airports that do accommodate TSA Pre-Check are not participating in the program. If you’re flying with one of them, you would have to go through the normal TSA screening procedure anyway.
  3. You cannot apply for TSA Pre-Check online.  You can fill out an online form with your basic information, but you will have to go to a TSA Enrollment Center to complete the process.  They say it takes about 10 minutes and includes a background check and fingerprinting.
  4. Enrolling in TSA Pre-Check will only cover you and your children under the age of 13. Your spouse (or anyone else traveling with you) would have to apply TSA Pre-Check status as well.

To see if your airport/airline participates in TSA Pre-Check, click here.

To locate a TSA Enrollment Center near you, click here.

For a list of Pre-Check FAQs, click here.


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