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Everything You Need to Know About TSA PreCheck

Laptops out and shoes off, people. Over 220 million travelers will pass through TSA checkpoints between the months of July and August alone--and hey, no budging. So if you have been thinking about getting PreCheck (or wondering what the heck it even is), here’s the rundown. 

What it is: A screening program that gives you access to shorter security lines. And here’s the real game changer: In this magical VIP line, you don’t have to remove your jacket, jewelry or shoes. Plus, your laptop and liquids can stay tucked in your carry-on, too. Traveling with kids under the age of 12? They can breeze through the line with you.

How you get it: First off, check the eligibility requirements. (If you’re a permanent resident or U.S. citizen with proof of ID and haven’t been convicted of any crimes, you’re all set.) Next, submit an online application and schedule an appointment to meet with an examiner. Appointments take approximately 15 minutes. They’ll review your application and ID and take your fingerprints and you’ll fork over the $85 application fee. Within two to three weeks, you’ll receive a known traveler number (or KTN) that you’ll use whenever you book future flights.

Worldly traveler? Consider getting Global Entry. At $100, it’s only $15 more than PreCheck and gets you all of the same benefits--plus, expedited customs on your way back into the U.S. (Because who wants to fill out those annoying blue slips on their flight back from, say, Cappadocia?) 

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