Trusted Traveler Programs: TSA PreCheck

So far we’ve covered the 3 key Trusted Traveler Programs:  Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI.  The 4th program, and the last post in our series, is focused on TSA Pre✓™.  On Friday, 7/19/13, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would be open up the program to more US citizens.

Previously, to be eligible for TSA Pre✓™, travelers had to opt-in through an airline’s frequent flier program, or be enrolled in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.   To date, more than 12 million travelers have experienced TSA Pre✓™ at 40 airports nationwide.

The reason for the popularity of TSA Pre✓™ is that travelers get to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes.  Sound like nirvana?

Well starting later this year, if you are a US Citizen you will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints.  TSA will start the program at two initial enrollment sites — Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport — with plans to expand to additional enrollment sites nationwide.

To qualify you will need to go through a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.  Once approved, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and the opportunity to go through TSA Pre✓™ lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports.  But don’t get too comfortable.  TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.

To learn more, visit the official TSA Pre✓™ website.