I am always elated when I see the TSA PreCheck stamp on my boarding pass. But, what does the TSA PreCheck mean? First off it marks you as a low-risk traveler which allows you to pass through expedited TSA (Transportation Security Administration) lines at certain US airports.
Second, it means, you won't have to remove your shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets from your carry on. Imagine, not having to pull all of that stuff out of your carry on and standing in line without your shoes. I know, it's amazing.
According to TSA.gov, a TSA PreCheck passenger spent less than 5 minutes to get through security. Which is amazing since there are over 7 million users of the program.
Background and How to Apply
The program launched in 2011 and was created to speed up verified travelers through security checkpoints. So how do you get TSA PreCheck approved?
There are three ways:
Travelers who are foreign citizens will need to meet certain residency requirements.
Once you are approved, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN). You will use that when you book a flight. Your KTN is valid for 5 years. To renew, simply go to the TSA.gov site and reapply.
How on earth do you use TSA PreCheck?
When you approach the TSA security lines at the airport, use the lane for TSA PreCheck members. Then follow the instructions of the TSA Agents. It's really that easy.
There are currently over 200 airports and 56 airlines that participate in the program. Should you have questions, or want to apply online click here for the TSA.gov site.
(credit: investopedia.com and tsa.gov)
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