Global Entry & TSA PreCheck
What is TSA PreCheck & Global Entry?
TSA PreCheck is an expedited security screening program currently available at more than 160 U.S. airports. As part of the program, you not only get to skip those winding TSA lines – which, thanks to an increase in passenger traffic and a shortage of TSA workers, will only get worse – and you also don’t have to take off your shoes, belt or remove anything from your carry-on item! PreCheck is only available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Global Entry, offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, provides expedited clearance through customs when returning to the U.S. Members of the program get to skip the lines at passport control and customs when traveling to select American airports. Upon approval for either program, your clearance lasts for 5 years.
PreCheck and Global Entry have saved me hours skipping security lines and breezing through customs when returning to the U.S. The $100 fee for 5 years of access is definitely worth it, and some travel credit cards even reimburse you for the fee!
Do I Need It?
Even if you only fly a few times a year, enrollment in both programs is absolutely than worth it. Even if you have no immediate plans of traveling internationally, we recommend applying for Global Entry since this program also includes TSA PreCheck, costs only $15 more, and provides you with all the benefits of both programs for 5 years.
- More than 150 Airports offer expedited TSA PreCheck lanes
- Expedited customs lines when arriving back in the U.S.
- Membership lasts for 5 years
- Select credit cards will reimburse you for the fee (E.g. Citi Prestige Card, Amex Platinum Card the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard)
TSA Precheck and Global Entry Cost
PreCheck and Global Entry – $100 fee for 5 years
PreCheck Only – $85 fee for 5 years
TSA Pre and Global Entry Application
For Global Entry & PreCheck simply follow the application process here:
For PreCheck only, you can apply at:
After completing the online application, you should hear back in a few days about your approval. If everything looks good, you’ll be asked to come in for a brief interview. Check the website for your program to find the nearest interview site and schedule an appointment. Wait times can vary widely depending on the location, so keep that in mind. Be sure to bring your passport or resident card, another form of ID, and a printout of your approval email.
Where is the Interview?
While you will have to go to an airport (click here to see the Global Entry Interview locations), you can try to schedule your interview before or after an upcoming flight so you don’t have to make an extra trip out to your nearby airport.
What Will They Ask?
The interview itself is generally quick and easy. You’ll be asked to reiterate a lot of the information on your application: employment status, travel history, driving records, etc. As long as you provide honest answers and your fingerprints, you’ll be approved on the spot and can immediately enjoy all the benefits of the program!
Add Your Information to Your Airline Accounts
The last step is to add your Known Traveler ID number that you receive upon approval to all of your frequent flyer accounts. Once you do this, the Known Traveler ID field should automatically fill in each time you purchase airline tickets, but just double check every time you book. If you do not have an existing account and are booking a new flight, make sure to add your Known Traveler ID number to your reservation so you receive TSA PreCheck for those flights.
Enrollment in either program lasts five years, but you can renew online for a fee. If you get a new passport be sure to update your information online, but if you change your name you will have to visit an application center to keep your eligibility.
Note: Make sure that your name on your PreCheck/Global Entry application matches your airline account information exactly. For example, if you have your full middle name on your PreCheck account but not in your American Airlines account, when you book your tickets using AA you may not get PreCheck for your flight.