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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TSA precheck

Worth it? Yes! At least so far.

We have a couple of short visits coming up, and while I was booking flights it reminded me to post about purchasing the TSA precheck.

We bought the TSA precheck for $85 (5 years) and used it for the first time while flying to Peru. In under 3 minutes, we made it through the entire security line and we placing our bags on the belt. Shoes and jacket stayed on; a quick trip through the metal detector (no body scan!) and we were done. The entire process took about 5 minutes, much better than our usual time on the security line.
I'm notoriously cheap, so for me to pay $85 for a convenience, it has to be good - and this is. We've only used it for our Peru flights and to and from Atlanta, but both times security took just minutes. Since I've had precious few good experiences with the TSA or security lines (due both to incompetent or rude officers or idiots in line in front of me), I consider the cost over five years to be acceptable.
Things to remember:
- The airports you mostly fly in and out of must accommodate precheck.
- So must the airline.
- You are not guaranteed precheck, even if you're relatively law-abiding; for example, we were talking to someone in a bar who was denied because of a prior DUI (not that that is a minor crime, but it's not like he works for Al Queda on the side or something).
So do your homework and then sign up!


  1. My husband flies all the time for work and has it--he loves it. I also love it if I am flying using his miles b/c then it applies to me too!

  2. I love it too, except I seem to frequently get stuck at airports where you still have to take your laptop out (you still do the metal detector and get to wear shoes though). And I also learned the hard way that not all airlines participate -- Spirit is a crappy cheap airline we tried using over Xmas only to find out they don't participate in the program, so no TSA status for us. But all my work travel is so much easier w/ pre-check, and our annual overseas trip has an easy customs process. Def worth the money for us.

  3. So it's the fast-track lane for security? Not something we have over here.

  4. I've had TSA pre-check for a couple of years now and it is AMAZING. Even if the airport doesn't have TSA pre-check, they often will still give you a laminated card that tells the screener that you don't have to take off your shoes, etc. It is so so awesome. And it's great when you travel internationally because you can just go to a machine instead of talking to a customs agent so it saves a lot of time, which is great if you have a connection!

  5. If I had my own airplane, I wouldn't need this. Hmm. decisions, decisions.

  6. TSA precheck has been so hit or miss for me! Depending on the airport and airline, I've mostly still had to do everything except take off my shoes. (So not helpful.) It's kind of a pain that it's not standardized across every airport...but when they fully use it, it's so amazing to get through security in three minutes.

  7. Coming back from Orlando last year, my mom had the pre-check, but she got stopped for a bath-oil bottle that was too big. That would have been fine, but the woman in front of her was waging war because the TSA guy was taking her vaginal wash away. I swear, the lady was screaming about her vaginal wash and how the agent was going to pay for a new bottle if he took hers. You can't make this stuff up! It's not a job I'd want.