TSA PreCheck: What You Need To Know

You know what my least favorite spot in the world is?

The security line at the airport. I mean, what’s worse than the panic of being stuck at the back of the line while your flight boards?

I truly believe that the worst of humanity comes to the surface in the security line.

First, we have your standard, run-of-the-mill businessman, sweating through his polyester blend button-up and shoving his way towards the front.

Then, we have the cat lady. SURE, let’s take twenty minutes to ensure your feline feels calm enough to pass through the metal detector with you. Once, and I’m not kidding, I waited behind a woman who took the entirety of 2017 to get her HAIRLESS sphynx cat out of its carrier and past security. I will never be able to rid my brain of that image.

And don’t even get me started on the group that can only be identified by their lack of socks. CAN YOU NOT? No one wants to see your nasty bare feet on the floor that we all have to walk on. COVER THOSE UP PLEASE.

Between the pushy businessman, the cat lady, and the Barefoot Betties of the world, TSA is just not where you want to be.

Fortunately, TSA PreCheck exists.

I’ve been a little reluctant to write this blog post for the SOLE reason that Tyler and I are embarrassed to admit that we oly signed up for TSA PreCheck a few months ago.

Let’s just glaze over the fact that we are travel bloggers who knowingly failed to sign up for this game-changing travel program and focus on the good news: we have it now and we LOVE it.

San Francisco TSA PreCheck

San Francisco TSA PreCheck

What is TSA PreCheck?

TSA PreCheck, a government-sponsored program, allows participants to move through airport security in a separate (shorter) line. In addition, TSA PreCheck travelers can keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on before walking through the metal detectors and do not have to remove laptops and liquids from their bags. So clutch, right?

I’ve mentioned before that Tyler and I cut it WAY too close at the airport for virtually every flight. I personally don’t mind the stress and even live for the thrill. Luckily for Tyler, though, we are now able to breeze through security with plenty of time to buy Smart Waters and check our flight status twenty times.

If you don’t already have TSA PreCheck, it’s time to get on board.

How do I sign up?

A TSA PreCheck membership costs $85 and lasts for five years. Apply online on the TSA website and schedule an appointment at an enrollment center (the airport). The appointment lasts just ten minutes to register your fingerprints and complete a background check. You can expect to be “cleared” in 2-3 weeks after that!

Each member is given a “Known Traveler Number” to input when purchasing a flight, and the TSA PreCheck logo will appear on their boarding pass. Consider that little icon your ticket to freedom.

Give yourself a pat on the back as you stride past the peasants taking their sneakers off.

Is it worth it?

Short answer: yes.

In our opinion, the $85 for the five-year membership is completely worth it. However, a handful of credit cards actually cover the cost as a perk.

Our tried and true Chase Sapphire Reserve card (read more about our obsession with it here) automatically refunded the cost of the program after we signed up.

With all of the travel we do, we try to make a point to limit our time spent in airports as much as possible.

Thanks to TSA PreCheck, we’ve been able to cut out the hassle of dealing with the security line, and it’s made our travel days go MUCH smoother (for the most part…).

San Francisco TSA PreCheck


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