For many people, the prospect of going through airport security can be a stressful one. The thought of getting scanned by a machine or asked to remove your shoes and jacket for inspection can all feel a little invasive and unsettling. If you’ve ever found yourself clocking several hours in an airport before boarding your flight, you may have noticed the TSA PreCheck lanes. This separate security lane system is available at over 200 airports across the United States and allows passengers to move through the process more quickly.
What is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is a program that was introduced in 2013. It allows passengers who are approved for TSA PreCheck to move through the normal TSA security lane with a special expedited process that takes less than five minutes. Once you’ve gotten TSA PreCheck, you can use it for the rest of your life, provided you stay on top of your expiration date. PreCheck is not included in your general flying experience. If you’re flying within the United States, you will most likely get to the airport and find that there is a PreCheck lane.
How To Get TSA PreCheck without Applying?
- There are a few ways that you can get TSA PreCheck without applying. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to the TSA PreCheck program, you can get TSA PreCheck without applying. However, this is extremely rare.
- A more realistic way to get TSA PreCheck without applying is by traveling on a government-funded airline. If you’re flying with a government-funded airline, like Virgin Atlantic, you have the option of getting TSA PreCheck without applying.
- Government-funded airlines offer this as a perk to passengers so that they don’t have to go through a long, cumbersome application process. If you’re flying with a frequent flyer program, you may be able to get TSA PreCheck without applying.
- Some frequent flyer programs offer TSA PreCheck memberships as a standard perk. When flying with an airline, check the terms and conditions of your frequent flyer program.
How To Get TSA PreCheck With An Appointment?
Check-in online and request an appointment in advance.
Make sure you check-in online before arriving at the airport. You can select TSA PreCheck as your screening preference when booking your flight. If you don’t have access to your booking information, you can enter your flight information at the TSA PreCheck website. Remember to request an appointment if you are traveling with children, have special medical circumstances, or have items you need to pack in your carry-on. If you don’t have an upcoming flight, you can still sign up for TSA PreCheck and request an appointment at a near-by airport. Keep in mind, there may be a wait time before you are able to be screened. Once you arrive at the airport, go directly to the TSA PreCheck or the Global Entry kiosks. You can locate the kiosks by looking in the concourse near the ticket counters.
Use a Co-branded Credit Card.
People who use a credit card that has a special promotion or rewards program that offers TSA PreCheck or Global Entry as an enrollment benefit. Keep in mind that some credit cards only give you one time access to either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, depending on which benefit is offered. You can also use a credit card to pay for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry at the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry website.
Go with a travel partner.
Travelers who are part of a family or partnership traveling together can sometimes get in line together and use a single application. If you have an immediate family member who has an existing Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, you can wait in line together and use a single application.
Use an App.
Download the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry app and complete the application using your smartphone. If you are an Apple user, you can use the iPhone app “My TSA,” which lets travelers check-in, request an appointment and access their TSA PreCheck or Global Entry information. Android users can download “My TSA Mobile.” Travelers can also use the “Enroll, Renew, or Cancel” option on the Global Entry website.
Try the Airport Lounge or Dining Area.
If you are waiting for your appointment and have a little extra time, try the airport lounge or dining area. You can usually find these areas near the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry kiosks and airline departure gates. Some of these areas have free snacks, beverages, wireless Internet and comfortable seating. If you have time, you can double-check your documents, pack your carry-on bag, or even have a meal before heading to the check-in counter.
How To Get TSA PreCheck By Being Registered?
Be a Registered Traveler with TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Registered Traveler program lets you “get the red out” and cut your wait time at the airport by 25%. If you’re a Registered Traveler, you’ll get to use special lines that don’t include everyone else, and you’ll get through security and boarding your plane faster than you would normally. Being a Registered Traveler means you’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck when you fly. TSA PreCheck is the security line that lets you leave your shoes on, your liquids in a bag, and your laptop in its case. You’ll get to keep your belt on, your jacket on, and your hands on the armrests. You’ll also be able to keep your shoes on and your laptop in its case at the TSA normal security lines.
Be a Registered Traveler with Global Entry
Global Entry is another program that lets you skip the long security lines thanks to TSA PreCheck (which Global Entry also includes). Global Entry members go through expedited customs when they’re coming back to the U.S. from abroad, too. As a Global Entry member, you’ll have the option to use TSA PreCheck when you’re flying. Global Entry is a program run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). To be accepted into the program, you’ll have to be approved for it and then complete an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Once you’re a member, you’ll be able to take advantage of TSA PreCheck.
Be a Registered traveler with Identity Escrow
If you’re a frequent and trusted traveler, you might be a good candidate for identity escrow. Identity escrow is when you allow the TSA to put your identity information into a database so that you can use TSA PreCheck even if you’re not traveling. Once your information is in the database, you’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck at any airport, even if you’re not traveling. This program is for trusted frequent flyers who don’t want to give up their identity information to the government. Once you’re a trusted frequent flyer who has enrolled in identity escrow, you’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck at every airport in the U.S.
Be a member of USAF’s expedited screening program
If you’re a member of the U.S. Air Force, you’re probably already taking advantage of a special screening program that lets you cut your wait time at the airport by as much as 75%. If you’re a member of the USAF’s special screening program, you’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck when you’re flying. To be a member of the special screening program, you’ll have to be an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But, the program’s administrators have said that enlisted personnel are also welcome to sign up.
Become an American Express Platinum Member
Being an American Express Platinum Member is a great way to get TSA PreCheck, but it also comes with a lot of other benefits like lounge access and travel credits. If you’re an American Express Platinum Member, you’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck whenever you fly. Being a Platinum member will also make it easier to get through the American Express application process. Finally, American Express Platinum members get access to tons of travel benefits like lounge access, free TSA PreCheck, and more.
Getting TSA PreCheck without applying is incredibly rare. However, there are a few ways that you can get TSA PreCheck without applying. If you travel on a government-funded airline, you can choose to get TSA PreCheck without applying. If you’re registered with the Department of Homeland Security, you can also get TSA PreCheck without applying.