I hope all is well! Today, I’m going to tell you about my experience with the global entry application, TSA Precheck and a new addition - Clear. I want to let you know that if you plan to travel in your future, I would suggest you think about how your future travel plans are going to be.
If you’re planning to do a lot of international travel or you have hopes of doing so, I would suggest applying for the Global Entry program. If you just travel a little bit domestically and have no desire to travel outside the USA, I would suggest applying for the TSA Pre-check program. But if you travel frequently, both domestically and internationally, I would suggest applying for both Global Entry and Clear (only apply for TSA Pre-Check and Clear if you travel a lot domestically and not outside the US).
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The benefits of the TSA pre-check program is that you are able to get through airport security and not have to take off your shoes, keep on your light jacket and not take your computer out of the bag. There is also a special line for TSA pre-check and you get through security quicker! Yes! Quicker! This program costs $85 and it lasts five years.
Now, the benefits for the global entry program are a little different. Yes, you will still reap the benefits of the TSA pre-check program but you get more! You also will be able to have expedited screening when you enter back into United States. There is an entirely separate line for global entry customers. So while you see your friend standing in line filling out their passport control papers, you speed through this process. You scan your passport at the designated station and keep it moving. (This would’ve been very beneficial for me when I came back into the US in Miami from Belize. I was in line with customs for over two hours and some people missed their connecting flights.) This program costs $100 (note: some American Express customers have the ability to get this fee waived) and it also lasts five years.
For both programs, you will submit an application online and schedule an interview in an available time slot at designated locations. I was able to get a TSA Pre-Check interview pretty rapidly. While I have waited about four months to get my global entry interview.
Something to note: Global Entry applicants are required to provide a little more information in their applications. Therefore, allow ample time when completing your application. During both interviews, they review your application details and take your fingerprints.
So why am I telling you this? It is because I did this wrong! YES WRONG! I knew I would be a frequent traveler when I applied for TSA Pre-Check. But at that time, I lived in a location where I was going to have to drive over two hours just to get to a Global Entry interview office. I deemed it not worth it at time. But I have learned from my mistakes to help all of you!
Another note: Since Global Entry includes TSA Pre-Check, do not apply for both. Only get Global Entry if you plan to travel internationally.
If you plan to be a frequent traveler and go outside the US, get the Global Entry (GE) option. You can’t get a refund on the TSA Pre-Check and GE is only $15 more.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and select your options today to get some travel worries off your plate. Hey, I travel out of Atlanta often, the world’s busiest airport, and usually arrive one hour before take off with using TSA Pre-Check! And in Miami, I used to wait in customs line FOREVER! Now I walk through instantly upon arrival!
But something else you may want to consider is enrolling in the Clear program. Man...having Clear with TSA Pre-Check is EVERYTHING! What is Clear? Clear is a program you can sign up at an annual fee of $179 or Free - $99 if you are a Delta SkyMiles member. While signing up (at the airport or online), you will provide some general information about yourself but finish the sign up process at an airport location. Here you will verify your identity by answering questions about your background, provide fingerprints and an eye scan. Once done, you will be told which method is best for you when you check into the airport.
When you use it for the first time, you go to your Clear line (there is one for TSA Pre-Check and non-TSA Pre-Check). You start checking in by scanning the body part that worked best for you...in my case it is the eyes. You then scan your boarding pass. Once done, the normal security line is stopped and you cut the line. You don't have to show your ID or boarding pass. You just step up for screening. It literally takes me only two minutes to get to screening now! It is the best thing ever!!!!! No more extra waiting at the airport! (Please Note: Clear is currently only available at the following airports: https://www.clearme.com/where-we-are.)
So again, what are you waiting for!!! If you travel at least once a year, I suggest having at least TSA Pre-Check. If you travel internationally at least once a year, you must get Global Entry (which includes TSA Pre-Check) it is well worth the cost. And if you travel frequently as I do, consider investing in Clear and everything else! P.S. If you are interested in trying Clear, use my referral link to get two months free here: http://refer.clearme.com/share/k_j8705. (Please note I may free months based on your usage of this link.)
Please check out the links below to learn more about each of the programs.
TSA Pre-Check: https://www.tsa.gov/precheck
Do you have either of these programs? What do you think about them? Comment below!
Thank you for reading!
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~ Kita the Explorer