The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced that they lowered the online renewal price of their TSA PreCheck from $85 down to $70, effective October 1, 2021. The near 20% reduction in price is good news for those who used it previously, but many are not aware of the PreCheck program and its benefits. Here, we'll discuss what TSA PreCheck is, how it works, and how to get signed up.
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is a streamlined security process where travelers can bypass regular security checkpoints and spend minutes in line, rather than hours. TSA reported that in September 2021, 96% of TSA PreCheck passengers spent less than 5 minutes in the security checkpoint. PreCheck memberships are valid for five years, meaning the cost is $17 per year for first-time memberships and $14 per year for renewals.
With TSA PreCheck, children 12 and under are eligible to accompany an adult without having to apply for the TSA PreCheck. Minors 13-17 may accompany adults through the PreCheck line as well if their boarding pass has the TSA PreCheck mark on it.
Aside from the much shorter security lines, PreCheck passengers also enjoy a smoother experience. Normally, passing through airport security requires taking off your shoes, emptying your pockets, taking out your electronics from their cases, taking off your belt and jackets, and all the other hassles that accompany an airport security checkpoint. TSA PreCheck passengers do none of that.
How Does TSA PreCheck Work?
When you apply for TSA PreCheck, there is an online application portion, a background check, and fingerprinting aspect. Those applying for the first time will need to pay their $85 fee ($70 to renew online) at a TSA enrollment center. Once you pass the background check and your fingerprints are processed, you will be issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).
You must type in your KTN in the appropriate field when you book your airline reservation. This is required because your boarding pass must have a TSA PreCheck indicator at the top for you to access the PreCheck checkpoint. You can access PreCheck lines at any of the 200 participating airports (including all major airports) if you book with one of the 80 participating airlines. You can use PreCheck to travel domestically and internationally (for departing flights).
Where Can You Use TSA PreCheck?
Travelers can use the benefits of TSA PreCheck at over 200 airports in the United States including, Los Angeles International, Seattle/Tacoma, Chicago O'Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Kona International, Miami International, JFK, and many more. Participating airlines include AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United, and many more.
What are the Benefits of TSA PreCheck?
The main benefit of the PreCheck program is the ease and peace of mind that it brings. You no longer need to worry about getting to the airport late or missing your flight if you do get to the airport late. Rather than waiting in line for hours (depending on the season and the airport), you can go through security in under 5 minutes. Plus, you get to keep your shoes on and your bags packed.
In addition to the peace of mind the program offers, some loyalty programs, and credit cards cover the cost of the TSA PreCheck application. Credit cards that cover the PreCheck application cost include Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, Capital One Venture Card, MasterCard Gold Card, Marriott Bonvoy, and more.
How Do You Sign Up For TSA PreCheck?
The easiest way to sign up for TSA PreCheck is to use Skip's TSA PreCheck pre-enrollment process. We cannot scan your fingerprints or run your background, but we can help you with the whole process. Simply use our app to fill out the necessary information and we will book an appointment for you at the TSA enrollment center closest to you. We're only one chat away if you need any help during the process.