No More Lines: How to Save (Significant) Time At the Airport

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Another way to zip through the airport is by using PreCheck, the TSA’s trusted-traveler program.  Membership in this elite group is currently limited to American and Delta top-tier frequent fliers as well as members of Global Entry.

For the former group, you have to receive an invitation from the airline and allow the airline to share certain information about your travel history with the TSA.

I received an invitation from Delta last summer that read “As one of our most frequent flyers, you may be eligible to participate in the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited screening program this fall.”

The PreCheck program allows passengers to leave their shoes on, leave their laptops in their bags (I already do this all the time since I have a Tumi checkpoint-friendly bag), leave their belts on (this has never been an issue for me), and not have to take off a light jacket.  PreCheck passengers can also leave their liquids in their bags (I haven’t taken mine out in years anyway but who’s counting…).

Despite all of the hoopla, I have yet to use PreCheck.  The reason is that I haven’t yet flown out of the right airport on the right airline.

Currently, Delta fliers departing from Atlanta, Reagan National, Detroit, New York-La Guardia, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City are eligible, as are American fliers departing from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, JFK, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

The program will be expanded by the end of 2012 to over 20 additional airports including Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Cincinnati, Honolulu, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington-Dulles.  In addition, frequent fliers from Alaska Airlines, US Airways, and United Airlines will be eligible for PreCheck at certain airports by the end of the year.

The best part about PreCheck is that it’s free.  But it’s a hard club to gain entry to.

Click here to continue to Page 3Online Check-in and Other Options

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