With the holiday travel season upon us, you can bet that airport security lines will stretch longer and move more slowly than ever before. While there’s not much, other than deep breathing and mindful meditation, that you can do to alleviate travel stress this year, you can plan ahead for next year.
With TSA Pre√ or Global Entry (GOES) status, you are granted access to a VIP shorter line. You keep your shoes on, and the odds of exiting security unscathed, untouched, and in time to board your flight increase dramatically. Of course, there’s always the possibility of assault from envious fellow travelers who lack this special designation. Avert your eyes as you pass them by.
The truth is, TSA Pre√ and Global Entry are available to any American traveler in good standing. All you have to do is apply online, pay a fee, pass a fairly rigorous background check, and show up for a five-minute, pre-arranged interview. (Be warned that it can take several months from start to finish.)
Here’s how you skip to the front of the line:
1. Choose the program that’s right for you.
TSA Pre√ is for people who fly mainly within the USA. It provides faster security screening at domestic airports and costs $85 for a five-year period. Apply online here.
Global Entry entitles you to all the benefits of TSA Pre√ PLUS expedited clearance through customs when returning to the USA from other countries. The fee is $100 for a five-year period, and you apply here. If you travel abroad or even think you might, it makes sense to pay the extra $15 for GOES to get the benefits of both programs.
2. If you are an American Express Platinum card member and pay with your card, AMEX will reimburse you for the fee. (As an added bonus, the Platinum AMEX card also gives you access to Delta airport lounges for free food, drink, and Wi-Fi – a great way to pass the extra time once you breeze through security.)
3. Your TSA Pre√ or GOES number MUST be printed on your boarding pass every time you fly. Enter it in your airline frequent flier accounts and share with your travel advisor/booking agent.
4. TSA Pre√ and GOES are not 100% guaranteed to grant you trouble-free travel. We want our TSA agents to be sticklers for safety, so sometimes you will be pulled aside for further inspection. But it will be a kinder, gentler screening. And your feet won’t see the light of day.
*Clients are reporting government delays in processing both Pre√ or GOES applications, especially the interview step. If you have pre or GE and your status is set to expire in the next year, don’t delay in renewing. You can renew up to a year before expiration, and it might just take that long to process.
Caroline Travels the World (swiftly and securely)…and So Can You.
#tsapre #tsagoes #airportease #carolinetravelstheworld