Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#AllInForParis - Travel Tips - Pre TSA Check

As a busy traveler and since I'm planning my flights for Disneyland Paris, I am working through a must do list for traveling!

I'm checking off the easy things first, and TSA Pre Check is one of them!

As a US Citizen, there are two ways to get through the TSA Pre Check Line:

Apply for TSA Pre Check or the US Customs Global Entry (GOES).

TSA Pre Check is just for Travel Inside the United States and usually only takes less than 10 days for approval through the TSA Office.  Have children?  Family members ages 12 and under can participate in expedited screening if the parent or legal guardian has the TSA Pre✓® indicator on their boarding pass.

The GOES requires a rigorous background check, personal interview, and several weeks for approval; however, the interrogation will be worth it because it will allow you the added benefit of expedited US Customs service when Entering the United States.
  • TSA Pre Check alone does not allow you this service coming into the US. 
  • Approval of TSA Pre Check does not  mean you will be approved for GOES.
  • While GOES speeds travelers through customs, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States.
  • If you are under the age of 18, you must have your parent or legal guardian's consent to participate in the program.
  • No one is guaranteed acceptance:  You must prove you are a low profile threat.  ]
  • This process takes time:  don't wait until the last minute to sign up!
I applied for both to have first hand knowledge of each experience.  Both enjoy the benefits of the TSA Pre Check Line and here is why that line is awesome!

1. Avoid long, busy Security Check Line
I always panic when I see the security line.  I nervously ponder, "will I get through in time?"  And then I am always the one with the problem:  my earrings set off the alarm; my FitBit triggers a pat down... it's going to happen to me.  With the increase in security measures, the number one reason to apply for TSA Pre Check is to avoid the line!

2.  Easy In and Easy Out
You still have to comply with all security rules; however, you don't have to take out your liquids, take off your shoes, or remove your laptop!

Don't touch your
  • Shoes
  • Laptops
  • 3-1-1 liquids
  • Belts
  • Light jackets !
And when I travel for business, I carry my personal laptop as well as my work laptop.  And I'm the one with 2 quart size bags of liquids instead of one.  So this is a super-duper bonus for me!

Reminder:  TSA can still request that a spot check of you or your baggage to be performed.  

3.  My Airline is In on TSA Pre Check!
It also helps that our favorite airlines are in on this time saving feature as well!
The following airlines offer TSA Pre✓®:
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • OneJet
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sun Country
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • WestJet
When you are approved for TSA Pre Check , you are given a Known Travel Number (KTN).  Add this number to your Frequent Travel Information on your Airline Websites, and your boarding pass will be issued with the TSA Pre✓®  Signification.   You can also use your GOES number as your KTN.

These 3 reasons alone will have you sold on the TSA Pre Check Line!

So, Do you plan just to travel in the US?  Ready to sign up for TSA Pre Check?  Here's how!

1. Find your Registration Center

Your local Registration Center is a data collection center and probably won't be affiliated with an airport.   Find your location at this LINK

It may be that you don't have a Registration Center in your area, so double check before you apply.

2.  Make an Appointment

Once you know you have access to a Registration Center,  you need to make an appointment.

You will be asked to fill in personal information and provide identification such as a Birth Certificate or Passport.

I arrived early for my appointment and it was a good thing:  my registration center was at a collection center for all kinds of personal information, and I almost passed it up!

TIP:  You will be required to provide fingerprints at this visit.  Even though you may have had a fingerprint requirement for employment, TSA Pre Check requires them for this application.  This center had an electronic collection device so no ink required!

TIP:  Contact the Call Center if you are having problems finding your location.  The Call Center can be reached via phone at 855-DHS-UES1 (855-347-8371) Monday through Friday from 8 AM-10 PM (Eastern).

TIP:  Remember to bring identification (Passport or Birth Certificate) to your appointment along with $85 for the registration fee.  My Registration Center took Debit Cards, but check with yours before you arrive.

3.  Watch the mail!

If approved, you will receive notification in the mail within 10 business days:

My KTN number is listed in the notification letter, so I promptly added this to my frequent flyer info for Southwest, Delta and United!

REMEMBER:  This is only for US based travel.  For foreign travel, US Citizens will need to apply with the US Customs GOES traveler program.   Check out the TSA FAQ for more Information.

Applying for TSA Pre Check just makes sense if you want to increase your ease of travel, and I'm looking forward to skipping the long lines!
Looking for more information on the GOES process or other Disneyland Paris Tips:  Check Back Here as I Update Throughout the Year!

Have a question about TSA Pre Check? You can check out the TSA Frequently Asked Questions for more Information.

or Do you Have More traveling questions? please contact me at kesselrunner77@gmail.com

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