An open TSA Precheck line.

An open TSA Precheck line. Photo credit: Raphael Ocampo

Want to fly like a V.I.P and bypass the dreaded security line? No need to pay extra for a First Class ticket, just get on the government’s TSA Pre✓™ trusted traveler list.

TSA Pre✓ allows low-risk travelers to experience expedited, more efficient security screening at more than 100 U.S. airport checkpoints domestically and internationally.

Last year, my husband and I both applied for a Known Traveler Number, also known as TSA Precheck domestically and Global Entry internationally. It takes a few forms online, a background check, fingerprints and an appointment at a local processing center (I went to an office within JFK) and a few weeks for the pass to arrive. Plus, there is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $85.

The Perks

At first, I wondered if it would really be worth it, but I have to say it is amazing as it makes getting to your gate a breeze. Besides having your own access line, which is always shorter than the general line, you get to leave your shoes on and keep your laptop and liquids in your bag. It feels so elite.

Best of all, I don’t have to stress about arriving at the airport with extra time to spare in case the security lines are long. It really takes the edge off of flying.

Also, you actually don’t need to travel with the ID card that they provide either, so you don’t have to worry about another important document to lose. Simply enter your Known Traveler Number when completing an online flight reservation and the Precheck symbol will somehow appear on your printed boarding pass. Then, all you have to do is just show your license. However, if you forget to enter your Precheck number at the time of booking, you will have to join the hoi polloi in the regular entrance line even if you have your card in hand.

Apply Now

Once approved, you are eligible for 5 years. Also, Children ages 12 and under do not need a separate enrollment when travelling domestically with a parent already enrolled, so they can sail on through with you.  TSA is accepting applications at more than 300 locations nationwide, including 26 airports.  Visit the TSA Pre✓™ application website to enroll now!