If you’ve ever been stuck in endless security or customs lines you’ve probably noticed (with some jealousy) the people who just seem to breeze right by with ease. You may have heard of TSA Pre-check or Global Entry, and there’s a good chance you think it’s just for frequent fliers and jetset travelers, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Both of these programs are ideal for anyone who travels with even moderate frequency. In fact, even just one trip a year is really enough to make up for the costs. So what exactly can TSA Pre-check and Global Entry offer to everyone from the road warrior to the casual leisure traveler? Let’s break it down.
Get ready to leave some travel hassles in the rear view
It’s only been in existence for five years, but the program’s popularity has exploded in that time, in fact about 40% of our corporate clients are now enrolled.
Pre-check will get you through those dreaded security checkpoints in record time, usually saving about 30 minutes per trip. You don’t have to worry about removing your shoes, belts, electronics, or even liquids in the designated lines, so take comfort in knowing that once you pack you don’t have to worry about re-packing (and re-dressing) at the end of the beltway.
Not all U.S. airports use TSA pre-check, but it’s getting there. Currently more than 180 airports and 19 airlines use the program, so it’s pretty easy to have your bases covered once you’re enrolled.
And speaking of enrollment, the whole process is pretty painless; just complete the application and schedule an appointment (both of which can be done online), bring some basic documentation and an $85 application fee and within a few weeks you should receive your Known Traveler Number (KTN) and you’ll be good to go for five years.
If you’re active military you’re already eligible for TSA Pre-check, just use your DOD number in place of the KTN when booking your flights.
Much like Pre-check, Global Entry is quite the hassle saver, but this time it’s for those who travel internationally as well. Global Entry lets you bypass those often agonizing customs lines that you can encounter upon entering the U.S. and go straight to a kiosk where it quickly identifies you with your documentation, fingerprints, and a digital photo.
However, applying and processing for Global Entry may take some time, so don’t wait until right before an international trip to apply. You will need to make an appointment and have an interview, but it certainly beats the mini-interrogations you often face when getting through customs every time.
The $100 application fee gets you valid passage for five years and now isn’t just for U.S. citizens, so if you’re an expat working in the states you might be able to take advantage of the program as well.
And though not guaranteed, the KTN you receive from being enrolled in Global Entry can often get you through TSA Pre-check as well; just remember to input it while booking.
Chances are your airport won’t be this empty, but skip the lines and it might feel like it
There’s a reason that both of these programs are surging in popularity, and it isn’t just because people enjoy making others jealous. The time, stress, and hassle you can save on every single trip is well worth the initial investment and most certainly something to consider if you’re looking to eliminate some of the inconveniences of travel.
To learn more about how to save time and reduce travel stresses, contact a travel expert at Uniglobe Travel Designers at 614-237-4488 or email@example.com.