Waiting to get through airport security brings out the absolute worst in me. There's something about having to take off my shoes and jacket and remove my laptop from its sleeve that turns me into the most unpleasant human being. And each time I fly, which is pretty often, I always regret not signing up for TSA Precheck. The process from start to finish can be a pain, but the fact that it makes traveling less painful is totally worth the hassle. After reading this, you're going to facepalm yourself like I do every time I realize that I should've signed up a long time ago.
The Benefits of TSA Precheck
- There's an expedited line dedicated to TSA Precheck holders.
- You can keep your shoes on.
- You can keep laptop and electronics inside your carry-on.
- You can leave your TSA-friendly liquids in your bag.
- You don't have to remove your belt or light jacket.
- Your $85 membership lasts for five years.
How to Apply
- Step one: Apply online. The five-minute application will ask for your biographic information, citizenship, identity, etc., and then have you select your appointment time and date. You also have the choice of walking into an enrollment center, but expect to wait a while.
- Step two: Go to your in-person appointment, which will include a background check and fingerprinting. The entire process should only take 10 minutes. Remember to bring documents, such as your passport or military ID, for enrollment, and either a credit card, money order, company check, or certified/cashier's check to pay the nonrefundable fee.
- Step three: Wait to receive your Known Traveler Number (KTN). According to TSA's website, those who apply directly through the TSA Precheck Application Program online will receive written notification within two to three weeks. However, many are approved just days after their in-person appointment, so be sure to check your status online.
Once you receive your KTN, add it to the corresponding field next time you book your flight online and enjoy your new perks!