This article originally posted October 2018 has been updated to include the newest program, CLEAR.
You know the airport security routine. Take off your shoes, belt and jacket and put them in a bin. Remove everything from your pockets. Place your computer and liquids under 3 ounces in another bin. Go through the security scanner and hope you don't beep. And hope that you aren't one of the lucky random checks or that one of your items doesn't look suspicious on the x-ray.
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!
After years of standing in the general security line, I signed up for TSA Pre✓® . BEST thing I ever did. Shorter security lines, no fumbling with shoes, computer and liquids and no pat downs! SO EASY! A bit annoying when the line isn't available at some airports or open during early or late shifts, but I can live with that given the ease most other times. The lines are getting longer as the program expands, however still better than general security.
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.
Airport security consists of two two steps: Identity verification and security screening. Some programs include one, others both.
So what are the differences between all these programs?
Photo courtesy of Delta Airlines
Which one is best?
For complete program details and eligibility go to:
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