TSA Precheck - Is It Worth It?
Over 4 million people have TSA Precheck, and with an average wait of five minutes to get through security in over 180 domestic airports and 30 airlines, it sounds like a no-brainer. With TSA Precheck, once you have been approved you won't have to take off your shoes and can leave their laptops and liquids securely in their bags. It’s like being at a Disneyland and having a pass that lets you skip the lines. On the flip side, you still are subject to random searches just like many other travelers.
However, some travelers have a different opinion. So we are here to break down some of the pros and cons.
Some of the pros:
1. You don't have to take your shoes off. I don't know about you, but sometimes when you travel, especially in the summer months you may forget to bring socks to slip on when you take your sandals off at security, and then you are walking barefoot through one of the germiest areas around. It is also convenient in the winter when you are wearing boots, slipping on boots that tie or are already tough to pull on sucks.
2. Your laptop stays safe in its bag. Five, that is the number of accidents I've seen where a laptop gets pushed off the long conveyer belt in traditional screenings. Can you image if your laptop was pushed off the conveyor belt and onto the floor?
3. Faster lines. Even if the line looks the same from the traditional to the TSA precheck line, you will still be out and in the terminal ten times faster.
4. Your little kid can go with you. My four-year-old goes through the line with me and adheres to the same rules as I do. That is winning.
5. You don't have to pull our your liquids. You may test the waters in the traditional line, but if you are caught, you have to rescan and have your luggage checked. With precheck that doesn't happen, you can leave your liquids safely secured in your bag.
Some of the cons:
1. You will have to pay, but it's not much. If you travel at least four times a year, the fee is doable. It costs $85 for a five-year precheck clearance. That means if you travel four times a year, you'll end up coming out to $4.25 per flight to skip the traditional lines.
2. Precheck isn't always a guarantee. At rare times when the precheck line is slow, and the traditional lines are long they will open the precheck line to everyone. Which means you will have to adhere to traditional rules (laptop and liquids out).
3. The fee is non-refundable. If you don't pass the TSA background check your fee will not be returned to you.
In addition to TSA Precheck for domestic flights, there is an option for Global Entry which assists with moving you through customs when flying international quicker.
What are your thoughts? Do you have TSA Precheck or Global Entry? We'd love to hear from you. Comment below or email us at HomeBase@lifecyclediaries.com.