Airport security is a necessary evil for all of us. Sadly, we’ve gotten used to the disrobing and the near nudity that this process breeds. For some, it may be no big deal. For others who travel more frequently, or for those who don’t like taking their shoes off on a dirty airport floor (all of us), there’s an easier way: TSA Pre-Check. It takes some time and money. But when you weigh the costs against the infinite ease you’ll have with it, TSA Pre-Check is more than worth it.
Here’s a few of the good things you can expect:
1. You won’t stand in a long line. Just flash your boarding pass with “TSA Pre-Check” on it and you’ll be directed to a shorter, exclusive line, which is nearly always shorter than the general boarding line.
2. You get to keep your clothes on. Yep, generally, you don’t even have to take off your shoes or jewelry. However, there is a chance that if your shoes/belts have metal parts, they may ask you to remove them.
3. You don’t have to unpack your laptop, tablet or quart-sized plastic bags. They can stay nestled in your luggage.
Now that you know the perks, here’s a quick look at how you can make this happen:
1. Complete a TSA Pre-Check application online or at an application center. As you might expect, they ask you a battery of questions: name, address, height and eye color. All the usual stuff. But in the dropdown menu for hair color, in addition to “bald,” there’s also the option to choose “unknown,” which is kind of funky. But for some of us who like to change our hair color, it works out quite well.
Here’s a heads up about a few more things you’ll encounter during the application process:
If you haven’t lived at your residence for five years, then you’ll need to give them your previous address. Have this handy.
If your driver’s license has your married name and your birth certificate has your maiden name, you’ll need to bring your marriage certificate that links the name on the birth certificate to the name on the driver’s license to your appointment.
You’ll be asked to select the two forms of ID you’ll be bringing in during your appointment. While one must be a photo ID (like your driver’s license), the other can be a passport or birth certificate, but they list other options as well, i.e. Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL), Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC), Free and Secure Trade Card (FAST).
2. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (855) 347-8371. You enter your zip code and are given choices of 5, 10 and 20 locations nearest you. Then you pick the time that is best for you. You can choose a specific time OR you can choose “Walk in,” which may fit better with your schedule, but those who have appointments take priority. Then you get an email confirmation of your appointment. Easy, right?
3. Visit an application center with your required docs. Just carve some time out of your day to do this.
THE COST: It’s just $85 for FIVE YEARS of the ease and comfort of doing something you love: traveling, and to the beach, of course.
After you’ve gotten TSA Pre-Check and are ready to bounce to the beach, just call 1-800-915-3162 and one of our BhDs will create an all-inclusive vacation package to the Caribbean and Mexico. If you want to browse solo, visit our site. Life is a journey. Start packing.