If you dread the current Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screening process of taking off your shoes to walk barefoot across the floor, or removing your laptop from your tightly-packed bag, or slipping off your belt, or—need we go on?
Well, good news: For $85, you can potentially avoid this process for five years!
The U.S. TSA is now allowing all travelers to apply directly for expedited airport screening, which would allow you to avoid things like shoe removal and laptop checks. The program, called PreCheck, was previously only available to travelers nominated by airlines based on frequent-flier miles or through a U.S. Customs program for international travelers.
To join PreCheck directly, all you have to do is pay the fee, undergo a background check and visit a TSA “Enrollment Center” to verify your identity and provide fingerprints. Then you’ll receive a Known Traveler Number, allowing you to use dedicated security lanes for yourself and other Known Travelers at more than 40 airports throughout the U.S.
The program will begin later this year. The first two enrollment centers will be at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis Airport, but the plan is add additional locations nationwide.
TSA reminds everyone that all travelers are subject to unannounced and random security precautions—so remember, expedited screening is not necessarily guaranteed.
You can read more about PreCheck here.