With the holiday travel season in full swing, it's important to plan ahead to make sure that everything goes smoothly. The airports will definitely be crowded with people traveling to see family and friends, so you'll want to do your best to steer clear of all the holiday congestion. Read on to learn how to avoid long security lines at the airport during the holidays, so you can ensure that you enjoy every minute of your trip.
Airport security lines can be difficult to plan for. Sometimes you breeze right through the line, and then sometimes you find yourself sprinting to your gate just in time to board the plane. It would be nice if there was a way to guarantee just how long you'll have to wait on the security line, wouldn't it? Well, there is a way to cut down the time you wait on line as you hold your shoes and hurriedly try to figure out if you correctly measured out three ounces of face wash.
According to information provided to Elite Daily from Alexis Tiacoh, an Expedia spokesperson, TSA Precheck is the answer to your travel woes (when it comes to long security lines, anyway), and it will only cost you $85 for a five-year membership. Enrolling in TSA Precheck can cut your wait time down to five minutes or less, according the TSA website — yes, please.
Securing a TSA Precheck is not difficult at all, and it will totally be worth it when you're breezing past the long security lines this holiday season. All you have to do is fill out an online application provided on the TSA website and participate in a 10-minute in-person background check and fingerprinting session. Once you pass, you'll pay your $85 fee and join the more than 5 million TSA Precheck members who bypass long security lines.
How exactly is the TSA able to cut down the wait times for you? Well, they streamline the process. Once you're a TSA Precheck member, you won't need to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, belts, or light jackets in order to go through the line. So, no more fussing with that pesky zipper on your carry-on where you stashed your shampoo. You can just put your bag down and stroll on through the line.
If you're wondering about possible restrictions when it comes to using your TSA Precheck, you'll be happy to know that it is available in over 200 airports and with 42 airlines nationwide. The TSA Precheck accommodations also apply when you're departing from the U.S. to a foreign country, so you can spend your time perfecting your French for your trip to Paris instead of waiting on long security lines. C'est bon!
TSA Precheck isn't your only option for zipping through airport security. You can also sign up for Clear, which according to their website, "speeds you through the long line for ID check, and guides you to the screening line." Clear has a more limited scope, as it is only available at just over 30 airports nationwide. You can apply for Clear online, and then you visit one of the authorized Clear enrollment locations to complete your membership. You'll pay an annual fee of $179 up front, which comes out to $15 a month.
To use your membership in Clear-equipped airports, you go up to a CLEAR kiosk, scan your eyes or use your fingerprints (which are recorded when you sign-up), and then scan your boarding pass. Once that is done, you'll be ushered to either standard or TSA Precheck screening, bypassing the security lines.
You can watch the video below to further understand just how Clear works.
I must say, it's pretty cool that you can check in with a scan of your eyes or tap of your fingerprint like a damn secret agent. Just make sure to check that your frequent destinations are setup with Clear capabilities since it only operates in 30 airports. If your favorite places are good to go, then it sounds like a great deal.
So, now that you know how to handle the long security lines at the airport by using TSA Precheck or Clear (or both!), you can focus on spending time with the people you are actually traveling to see this holiday season.
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