Lorie Grooms, CMP
making travel easier: TSA Pre✓
Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Is getting TSA PreCheck status worth it? YES!
The April blog provided the steps on how to get this status for domestic flights. Since receiving my KTN (Known Traveler Number), I’ve taken twelve flights with departures out of airports along the east-coast, including ATL, DCA, GSP, IAD, MCO, and TLH. Here’s what I discovered:
There have been anywhere from 4-20 people in line, ahead of me.
The longest it ever took was 6 minutes (beginning as I entered the PreCheck line and ending after I exited the security area)!
Not having to remove a laptop, shoes, and toiletries is awesome.
A light jacket does not need to be removed when going through the metal detector.
When traveling through an airport without a separate PreCheck line, the process is different:
After checking your ID and ticket, the TSA agent will hand you a card that indicates you have PreCheck status – this will allow you to leave on your shoes.
Laptops and toiletries must be removed from carry-ons.
Once you’re through the metal detector, the TSA agent on the other side will collect the card.
When traveling through an airport where the PreCheck line opens late or closes early compared to the airport's operational hours, the process follows similarly to the airports without a separate PreCheck line (outlined above). Even if PreCheck is available at an airport, that doesn't mean it's available at all hours. For example, at DCA the PreCheck line closes at 7:00 pm. The one difference in the process at DCA is that instead of getting a card from the TSA agent, the boarding pass is rescanned right before walking through the metal detector, to verify the PreCheck status and allows for shoes to remain on. If you're using a boarding pass on your mobile device, once the pass is scanned the phone will have to go through the X-ray machine.
Before booking a flight, check to make sure your selected airport and airline offer PreCheck. In addition, check the schedule the hours of operation for the PreCheck lanes at a specific airport.
If time is money, the $85 spent on getting Pre✓ status, which is valid for five years, has paid for itself within the first year of use.
…until we meet again!