Travel insights from VAX VacationAccess

TSA Pre Check: You Can Leave Your Shoes On

Want to make travel even easier for your clients? Encourage them to apply for TSA Pre Check and even walk them through the application process. They'll be on that charter to Punta Cana in no time, without having to take off their shoes!

TSA Pre Check Basics

TSA Pre Check is a program that gives travelers leaving from the U.S. access to an expedited security screening program at the airport. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent U.S. residents can apply for the program and go through a screening process in order to become a "trusted traveler."

Perks of TSA Pre Check

Anything to make your airport experience better is worth it, right? And probably one of the least enjoyable parts of air travel is the security process. TSA Pre Check pretty much eliminates that less-than-desirable part by giving trusted travelers these perks:

  1. Expedited security screening - There's a shorter line for TSA Pre Check members. TSA's website says that in December 2017, 93% of TSA Pre Check members waited less than 5 minutes – that's pretty incredible!
  2. Less to do to prep for security - You don't need to take off your shoes, belts or light jackets, and you can leave your laptop and liquids in your bag.
  3. Share it with the fam - A parent or guardian with TSA Pre Check can bring family members ages 12 and under along with them in the expedited lanes.

The Pre Check Process

It's really not that bad – just three steps.

  1. Travelers can apply online on TSA's Universal Enroll Pre Check page. The application has four sections and it's mostly basic information to help TSA verify your identity and citizenship.
  2. Next is to schedule the in-person appointment for a background check and fingerprinting within 45 days of completing the online application. The appointment can be made online or by walking in to a TSA application center. This TSA web page lets you enter a zip code, city or airport code to help you find the most convenient one for your clients.
  3. And then at the appointment, which TSA says only takes 10 minutes, applicants must bring the required documents and provide their fingerprints. There are some options to determine what type of documents are acceptable, but TSA has a helpful web page to help sort it all out. It can be as simple as just a valid driver's license and passport if the names on both documents match – that's it. Then the applicant pays a non-refundable fee of $85 that's valid for five years. That's $17 a year – less than a tank of gas nowadays!

After an applicant is approved as a trusted traveler with TSA, they'll get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in the mail within two to three weeks. You can enter your client's KTNs for each traveler when booking their flights on VAX. There's a field for it in the Traveler Information section of the booking engine – how easy is that?

TSA Pre Check is available in 200 airports with 42 participating airlines. To check the airports your clients are using, use this nifty map from TSA. To learn even more about TSA Pre Check, visit their dedicated website. If your clients have KTNs, ask for them so you can add them to their air reservation and make their airport experience faster and less stressful.

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