Waiting in line when you’re traveling is one of the worst things about it. The journey can be tough enough without having it made even longer by facing huge lines. If you want your trip to be faster and less stressful, with no need to arrive at the airport hours and hours before your flight, you have a few options to allow you to skip the lines. You can explore choices such as TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, CLEAR and Mobile Passport. These all give you the chance to skip the line and get through the airport faster.
TSA PreCheck membership lets you join the shorter PreCheck lines at security. When you use these lines, you can keep your shoes and a light jacket on, so the security process goes faster. You don’t have to take your laptop or liquids out of your bag, either. TSA PreCheck was originally limited to select people, but now you can pay $85 for 5 years’ membership. It’s available at over 200 airports and 56 airlines participate. If you get an American Express Platinum Card, you also get free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, which renews every five years.
Global Entry is the worldwide version of TSA PreCheck. If you’re planning on international travel, you don’t want to have to wait in line on the way back if you didn’t have to do it on the way out. Global Entry is only slightly more expensive than PreCheck, at $100 for 5 years, and it gives you TSA PreCheck benefits too. However, the screening process is more thorough, and requires a quick interview. With Global Entry, you can skip customs declarations lines and use the kiosks to provide your information instead. Most airports with kiosks are in the U.S., but there is also a reciprocal agreement with 14 countries to use their expedited security program.
Unlike TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, CLEAR is a private company that has been approved by Homeland Security. It is an additional service for skipping airport lines, available at over 40 airports, and you don’t need to be a member of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. On top of skipping airport lines, it can also help you to skip lines at sporting events and concerts, giving membership an added bonus. You can register online too, without having to attend an appointment or interview. However, it is pricier, costing up to $179 per year.
Mobile Passport is a free mobile app that offers another way to save time at airports. It’s available for U.S. and Canadian citizens and you can use it not just at major airports but also cruise ports. It’s available to use at 26 airports and 3 cruise ports, and doesn’t require an interview or background check. You get access to express lanes and with Mobile Passport Plus ($14.99 per year), you get a document scanner, passport storage and an ad-free experience.
You have several options that allow you to skip the lines when you’re traveling. Just choose the best one for you.