If you’ve traveled regularly or seen the film Up In the Air, your intimately familiar with the trials and tribulations of the frequent flyer. Long lines at customs and airport security are like the traffic on the 405. For the most part, no matter who you are or where you’re going, if you’re stuck, you’re stuck. Imagine my delight when I heard about the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs that could allow me to save time and literally bypass these nutty lines? Too good to be true? Nope. It must cost an arm and a leg, right? Nope. Believe it or not, the applications are a mere $100, and $85 respectively.  Okay, that’s great, but am I going to have to re-apply in six months? No? Really? Actually, the both the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry memberships are valid for 5 years. Here’s the quick and dirty about both programs:

Global Entry: With this membership, you can expect to arrive at US border patrol and Customs and check in at an easy access kiosk. Avoid long lines and processing paperwork and look forward to expedited entry benefits in other countries. What to expect: $100 application fee, an in-person interview, background check, and fingerprinting. Downside: It can potentially take several months to process your application, so get on it! Upside: You are TSA-PreCheck approved with this option!

TSA PreCheck: Get through airport security screenings faster and forget about removing your shoes, and belts and laptops. No more walking around barefoot on those gross floors, hallelujah!. What to expect: $85 fee, a visit to an application center for identity verification (online applications available soon). Downside: It doesn’t apply to all airports, but it’s currently available at 118 of them. Upside: Faster processing, and zero concern for the spread of foot fungus.

I don’t know about you, but I am signing up today! Happy Travels!

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About this blog: Time. We don’t want it to be your ultimate enemy. That’s why each Monday we write about ways to save it. It’s no fountain of youth, but we think we’re getting close.


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  1. Serena Sparacino August 27, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    As I sit in the Midway airport I couldn’t have read this article at a better time- well, except for beforehand so I would already be signed up for TSA pre-check! As someone who hates to check their luggage, this will be a huge stress reliever when going thru security lines. This is now at the top of my to do list! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Beth Zeigler August 28, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Glad Monica’s post resonated with you! I know, I also need to finish filling out the paperwork– I know I will be so happy that we did the next time we travel:)

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