Why Should You Get TSA PreCheck?
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
The benefits of the TSA PreCheck membership are so worth the small cost to pay. I discuss all of the benefits and the application process below.
Fall has arrived and it is starting to get colder here. I was enjoying working outside everyday, but it is now too chilly for me to be out there. I still have beautiful views, so I can’t complain :) This week’s blog post is all about TSA PreCheck. Vince and I love to travel, so we knew we needed to sign up for this for quick and easy access into any U.S. airport.
Have you ever checked-in for your flight and somehow got TSA PreCheck randomly and got super excited? This happened to my parents and I growing up. If you haven’t heard of TSA PreCheck, it is a totally separate line at U.S. airports that allows you to keep your shoes/jacket/belt on and keep your liquids/electronics in your luggage. This line moves much faster than the normal line, and the first time Vince and I took advantage of this after signing up, I felt so cool walking to the front of the TSA PreCheck line while the normal line was SO long.. Okay, I probably sounds dumb but it did feel pretty cool, haha. I mean c’mon look at that picture, why wouldn’t you want to skip the long stressful line? I didn’t know it was something you could sign up for, like I said we would get it randomly growing up so I was shocked knowing we could have this for every flight!
According to the TSA PreCheck website, the average wait time in the TSA PreCheck for August 2020 was 5 minutes! I also found the table below of wait times in normal lines vs. TSA PreCheck lines. There really is quite a difference! This benefit is really valuable for anyone who doesn’t like to wait at the airport for very long or for the fact you know that you can get through fast no matter the day or time.
So, let’s get down to the cost, how to apply, and the interview process.
When you sign-up for a TSA PreCheck membership, the cost is $85 and you get to keep the membership for 5 years.. That is only $17 a year to get these amazing benefits!! In my blog post about credit cards a few weeks back, I listed a few cards that pay for this cost for you. However, I have included the full list below of the credit cards that will reimburse you for the cost of your TSA PreCheck membership.
How to Apply
You can apply at their website with a direct link here. You will need to fill in all your personal information, and then you will be taken to a screen to pick an appointment time for an interview at a TSA PreCheck location near you. Vince and I are fortunate that we live in a big city, because we had two options of where we could go to get our interview. These places get very busy, so make sure you plan ahead if you want to use it for a trip in the near future! Vince made an appointment and got in right away, however, I tried making a walk-in appointment due to their schedule being booked online. I was told the wait would be over an hour, so I decided to book an online appointment further out. I highly recommend not doing a walk-in appointment because it will take a lot longer than if you were to just schedule an appointment online.
After you have your appointment scheduled, you will need to bring a valid ID and proof of citizenship. The appointment is super quick. They ask you a few questions about yourself, scan your ID/passport, and you are out the door. I was in there for a total of 7 minutes! Once approved, a letter will come in the mail to you in the next 1-3 weeks with your TSA PreCheck number and you are then good to use it on any flight! If you already have a flight scheduled, you can also still add it in, you just have to go into your flight information and add it . As soon as I got my number, I added it into all my accounts for each airline. For an example, I have included a screenshot below for where your travel number should go for Delta :)
You will know it worked on your next flight if you ticket looks like this :)
I really think TSA PreCheck is something any traveler should have. It causes so much less stress at the airport knowing that you can get there later and you have a less likely chance of missing your flight due to security lines. Vince and I joke that we got TSA PreCheck so we can have more time to hang out in the lounges :D Plus, who wouldn’t want to keep their shoes on and keep their electronics/liquids in their bag? Its a no brainer :)