If you fly at least once a year, you NEED to invest in TSA Pre-Check. Best. Investment. Ever. Why, you ask? Let me tell you why you need to spend $17 per year on TSA Pre-Check when traveling.
Being pre-approved let’s you access the TSA Pre-Check line, which I now believe is available at all airports (yes, even Eppley Airfield in Omaha, as shown above). So not only do you not have to stand in line to have your ID checked, you also don’t have to waste time taking off your shoes and jacket and/or taking your laptop and fluids out of your carry on luggage. Yep, having TSA Pre-check allows you to…
- Leave your shoes on
- Leave your jacket on
- Leave your laptop inside your bag
- Leave your 3 oz fluids inside your bag
Can you say time saver?!
TSA Pre-check costs only $85 and is super simple to sign up. You simply pre-enroll on the TSA.gov website and make an appointment online at an application center. I was willing to drive to Omaha (2 hours away) for my appointment, so I was pleasantly surprised to find an application center only 15 miles away from where I live.
At my appointment, we simply reviewed the information that I already gave them online, scanned my passport (if you don’t have a passport, you can bring other forms of identification), fingerprinted me and took my $85. It literally took under five minutes.
They then do a background check on you, and they will let you know your status in 2-3 weeks via snail mail. But you can check your TSA Pre-check status online sooner (I was approved in about a week).
Once you are approved, you will be given a Known Traveler Number (KTN). You then use you KTN number when booking your flight. There is usually a field when you book your flight near where they ask you for your frequent flyer mile program identification number to include your KNL.
Bonus: Every time that I've booked flights for me and someone else, every one that I've booked with me has received the TSA Pre-Check on their boarding pass as well. Not sure if they've gotten lucky or traveling companions automatically get that privilege, but it's been nice.
The “TSA Precheck” logo will appear above your name on your boarding pass as shown above on my last ticket. Easy peasy, mac and cheesy.
And the best part is that once approved, your status is valid for 5 years! That equates to only $17 per year. That $17 will saves you HOURS in line at the TSA check points and thus more time to belly up to the airport bar. Can you say no brainer?
What’s your excuse for not signing up for TSA Pre-check?
I originally wrote this post for Work In My Pajamas.