Making Your Way Through Airport Security is almost pleasant with TSA PCheck Status. If you travel several times a year, do yourself a big favor and apply for PreCheck. I just got mine and was surprised how simple the process was.
Why wait (in airport security lines that is)? Applying for TSA PreCheck status is easier than you might think. Sailing through airport security was a breeze with my new TSA PreCheck status. The last few times I flew, I was lucky to be get TSA Pre-Check assigned when I received my boarding pass. Not taking off my shoes, jacket, or removing any of my toiletries or laptop from my carry-on bag make moving through the security check a cinch. I forgot how much time was saved when you did not have to remove everything from your suitcase and then repack once you cleared the line. And the PreCheck line….. well, there wasn’t one! Here’s how it all works:
How To Apply For TSA PreCheck
To obtain TSA Pre-Check status (a known traveler number), you simply complete an application online at Universal Enrollment Services https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/. Once you have completed the application, you will be asked where you would like to go for the personal interview and fingerprinting. There are 300 locations nationwide, include 26 offices at airports. Simply select the office closest to you with a zip code and city search, and an appointment will be scheduled. If you cannot make the appointment scheduled, you can reschedule or call their toll free number to arrange a more convenient time. You must have a completed appointment within 45 days of submitting the application. If your schedule is tight, some centers also take walk-ins, which may take a bit of waiting, but all paperwork and interviews can be done at the same time.
The application itself is simple enough, requesting basic identify and proof of citizenship information. You should review all of the eligibility requirements in advance, since the fee is non-refundable once you apply. When you arrive at your scheduled appointment, you will be asked to present your passport and payment of $85.00 (for 5 years). You will be asked to review and confirm your application information. Fingerprints are taken and should receive your known traveler number within 30 days. You can also check the online site to find your status at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/ after your appointment. I received my number in just 5 days. Once you receive your number, you must enter it in all you airline reservations and travel site profiles, just as you would a frequent flyer number. You must be careful to book all you airline reservations in the exact name as it appears on your TSA Known Traveler Number documents.
Once you have your Known Traveler Number you can zip through TSA Security Lines with ease, leaving your shoes, belts and light jackets on, and leaving your 3-1-1 liquids bag and laptop in your carry-on bag. But you should note that at times TSA reserves the right to randomly check PreCheck members and do more in-depth screenings on a random basis. For all matters dealing with the TSA, you can always visit their website http://www.tsa.gov.