How to Reduce your Wait Time at Airport Security Checkpoints

With the ever increasing lines at airport security checkpoints, travelers are becoming more frustrated with the lengthy delays.

There are two options that will reduce your wait timeРbecoming a member of the TSA Preè program or joining the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs including Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS.

Members of these programs are considered low-risk and can receive expedited screening in a separate lane at security checkpoints. There are more than 200 participating airports and 65 airlines in the U.S. (and the list is growing). Members are assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that needs to be given when making reservations with one of the participating airlines. The airline will print this information on the boarding pass that will then be read by TSA at security checkpoints.

Benefits:

  • Low-risk travelers can experience expedited security screening and faster moving lines at TSA Pre√® lanes at many U.S. airports.
  • Travelers do not have to remove their belt, shoes, laptop, jacket, or 3-1-1 compliant bag when going through security (unless asked to do so during random checks).
  • Children 12 and under can go through TSA Pre√® lanes if they are traveling with a parent who is a member. Note:  Any family members ages 13 and up must go through standard security lanes if they are not a member.

 

How to Apply for Membership:

Check into the different programs and decide which one would be most beneficial for you.

  •  TSA Pre® – Apply online at TSA.gov. Membership is good for five years and the application fee is $85.
  • Trusted Traveler Programs – Apply online at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Membership is good for five years and the application fee is: $100 for Global Entry, $50 for NEXUS, and $122 for SENTRI

Application Requirements:

  • Proof of citizenship (passport, certified birth certificate, Canadian citizenship certificate or card)
  • Proof of permanent residency (valid driver’s license or federal identification card)
  • Must be 14 years of age or older
  • Submission of an application will generally require an interview with a U.S. border representative
  • You cannot have a criminal record
  • Fingerprinting and a retina scan is required

 Members of the Armed Forces:

The TSA Pre√® expedited screening process includes all of our honorable Members of the Armed Forces, as well as those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves, and National Guard.  They can use their Department of Defense Identification number when making flight reservations, and they do not have to apply to the program since they are automatically included.  They can travel on personal or official travel and do not need to travel in their uniform.

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Current Participating TSA Pre® Airlines (check with your airline for updates):

You will need to fly on one of the following airlines in order to be eligible for expedited screening:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Air Serbia
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Aruba Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Boutique Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • China Airlines
  • Condor Airlines
  • Contour Aviation
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Eastern Airlines
  • Elite Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Flycana
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • InterCaribbean Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Key Lime Air
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Miami Air International
  • Norwegian Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Porter Airlines
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southern Airways Express
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Sunwing Airlines
  • Swift Air
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (Scan.)
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • ViaAir
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Volaris
  • WestJet
  • World Atlantic
  • Xtra Airways

 

 For insightful travel ideas, check out my book:

Know Before You Go:  Traveling the U.S. and Abroad

 

 

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Latest Comments

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