I am all for this security, especially when flying. But I'll be the first to admit that it can be very inconvenient, the lines frustrating. So when I discovered TSA Pre✓® , I was elated!
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY....
Since getting TSA Pre✓® I have also signed up for Global Entry. I've been through my share of passport control lines, some moving quickly, others taking hours. Global Entry has taken customs clearance in the US down to about about 5 minutes. Especially helpful if you have a tight connection. I went through Miami a few months ago - walked past the line with well over 150+ people, went to an open Global Entry kiosk, and was out the door in less than 5 minutes.
AND NOW EVEN EASIER.....
Mobile Passport Control, is free, and allows US citizens and Canadian visitors to use a mobile app on your smart phone that expedites entry into the U.S. Simply complete the information when you download the app. You usually go through the same line as Global Entry, and in a few minutes you are on your way to grab your checked luggage.
Clear uses biometric information (fingerprints and eye scans) to fast track you to the security screening areas beyond the initial checkpoints. A privately run program, it costs $179 annually.
So what are the differences between all these programs?
- TSA Pre✓® allows approved low-risk travelers to experience faster, more efficient TSA screenings at participating US airport checkpoints for 5 full years— for $85. This program is only available for flights in the US with airlines who participate in the program.
- Global Entry provides all the same benefits as TSA Pre✓® plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the US. The cost is $100 and is valid for 5 years.
- Mobile Passport helps you breeze through US customs screening. This free app has the same benefits as Global Entry for customs clearance, however it does not include TSA Pre✓® and is currently only available at 26 airports and 2 cruise ports (Port Everglades and Miami).
- While you still must go through the metal detectors and your bags need to be scanned, Clear lets you bypass the initial screening line (where you show your boarding pass and ID to the TSA agent), where a backup often occurs. As of this writing it s available in 28 airports.
- If you don't fly very often and you don't mind standing in the occasional line, you probably don't need any of these programs.
- If you only fly domestically and you'd like to get through security with less hassle, go with TSA Pre✓® .
- If you are a frequent flyer domestically, especially in major airports where TSA Pre✓® lines have started to get longer, you may want to consider Clear, albeit the expense. Note: Delta has partnered with Clear and offers their card members a special discount on the program. Add your SkyMiles account during the enrollment process.
- If you fly internationally and frequently arrive at one of the 26 airports offering Mobile Passport, save yourself some money with the Mobile Passport app. Just remember though that it does not include TSA Pre✓®
- If you frequently fly internationally and arrive a various airports, Global Entry offers the most flexibility plus the added bonus of TSA Pre✓® .
- If you frequently travel only between the US and Mexico or the US and Canada, look at the SENTRI or NEXUS programs.
For complete program details and eligibility go to:
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