Is TSA PreCheck Worth It?

According to USA Today, airlines flew nearly 4.5 billion passengers on 45 million flights in 2018. Both of these are numbers that broke the previous records. With the number of travelers on an annual basis ever increasing, it is more important than ever for people to ensure efficient arrivals and departures. Can TSA PreCheck help you have a smoother airport experience? Explore our list of pros and cons of the much talked about procedure.

The Argument Against TSA PreCheck

A cluster of people walking their luggage to an escalator

Though PreCheck advertises a streamlined airport experience and claims to save you a ton of time, a recent Business Insider informal survey of domestic airports showed that the wait time is only five minutes less than the standard security line. Considering how early airports request you arrive for flights, the chances of those five minutes making a difference are slim. Another advertised perk of PreCheck is foregoing the intense screening procedures of the TSA. Unfortunately, even with PreCheck, you can still be pulled from the line to be screened at TSA’s discretion.

The Argument For TSA PreCheck

If you are constantly traveling or always find yourself running behind, there may be value in being a TSA PreCheck member. When traveling with family who is also PreCheck members, it can be relaxing to breeze through the line instead of slogging through with a bunch of carry-ons and other miscellaneous items. The $85 fee to become a PreCheck member is a reasonable sum to pay over the five-year duration of eligibility as well.

Modern Considerations

Frequent worldwide travelers may want to consider Global Entry rather than PreCheck. This newer program provides all the same benefits of PreCheck but adds on the ability to reenter the US from trips abroad much more easily and quickly. The Global Entry fee is only $15 more than PreCheck and runs the same five-year period.

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