TSA PreCheck is one of the four TSA trusted traveler programs that are offered to personal and business travelers. The other three programs are Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI. The service is available at more than 200 airports and with more than 50 airlines. Some of the participating airlines are American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. TSA PreCheck is not available at airports outside the U.S.
Who qualifies for TSA PreCheck?
U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents are eligible to participate in TSA PreCheck. There is no age restriction, but children ages 12 and under traveling with a parent/guardian with TSA PreCheck can take advantage of expedited screening without being a member. If you are enrolled in Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI, you are also eligible to participate in TSA PreCheck. The background of all applicants is verified when they apply for any of the programs.
What does TSA PreCheck get you?
When you apply and get approved for TSA PreCheck, you will be given your Known Traveler Number (KTN) which you should add to your ticket to enjoy benefits. As a TSA approved traveler, you are eligible to use TSA PreCheck lines for expedited security screening. You don't need to remove your shoes, belts, light jackets, laptops and liquids.
What is KTN and where to find it?
Your Known Traveler Number (KTN) printed on your boarding pass and embedded in the barcode is your TSA PreCheck indicator that proves you are eligible for TSA PreCheck. You won't receive any ID card or other credential to access the TSA PreCheck lane. With TSA PreCheck you make sure your KTN is printed on your boarding pass when you are traveling on a participating airline.
TSA PreCheck membership is given for 5 years and costs $85, and Global Entry membership will cost you $100 (one-time fee). Any of these membership fees can be reimbursed if you have a credit card with such a benefit. Today, some premium travel credit cards allow cardmembers to receive up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. You can get the credit every four years and use it for either of the programs when it's time to renew your membership.
With TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you will be through the security within five minutes or so. The screening process will be easier, so why not to get a credit card with TSA PreCheck as a cardholder reward. The credit cards above and some cards from Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank have the TSA PreCheck benefit.