making travel easier: flying
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Flying for business or pleasure is a regular occurrence for many people. However, the long lines and crowds of strangers make it anything but fun. The security screening is often the most dreaded part. To make it less stressful and quicker, each traveler can help by being prepared:
Before arriving at security screening, have all of the items that need to be removed from pockets stored in a carry-on – put them on after the security screening is completed.
Pack toiletries and laptop computer closest to the zipper, for quick access.
Review what’s on the prohibited items list and the liquids rule. It seems like these rules have been around long enough for everyone to know, but it never fails that people delay the lines because of not following the rules.
Have the proper ID and bordering pass handy and ready.
Register and pay a fee to speed through security...
There are two different options:
TSA PreCheck aka “Pre✓” (domestic) – which is the process outlined below.
Global Entry (domestic & international) through US Customs and Border Protection – different process and application than TSA PreCheck, advanced background check, and the $100 fee is paid in advance of the in-person interview. For information on this process, visit www.cbp.gov.
Step 1: Apply online at https://www.tsa.gov/PreCheck
Provide general personal, background, and contact info.
Select an in-person interview location, date, and time (the earliest appointment date I could select from was 7 days from application date).
Step 2: Attend in-person interview
Verify information provided during application process.
Answer general questions.
Pay fee ($85) – I was asked for a credit card, which is how I planned to pay. Not sure if paying via check was an option.
Step 3: Wait to receive Known Traveler Number (KTN)
It will take approximately 1 week for the KTN to be available online at universalenroll.dhs.gov – I received it 4 days (2 business days) after Step 2 was completed.
It will take approximately 3 weeks to receive the KTN via mail – I received mine via mail 7 days (5 business days) after Step 2 was completed.
Step 4: Add KTN to current flight reservations, frequent flyer accounts, and all future flight reservations
Most flight reservations can be updated online with the airline. Don’t rely on a third party travel site to update your personal info – if that’s how the flight was booked.
The boarding pass will include a TSA Pre✓ icon that allows admission into the TSA PreCheck security line – separate from the ‘regular’ and usually longer line.
…until we meet again!