Lately, airport security lines have gone from 'low level nuisance' to 'complete insanity.' Anyone who has walked into JFK airport on a Friday knows that the sight of the TSA body scanner queue alone can cause panic attacks, missed flights, and mass pandamonium.
Want to skip the airport security madness? On this week's We Hear, we're covering everything you need to know about TSA PreCheck and Global Entry so you can make the best decision for your travels.
Details on TSA PreCheck:
First up, the Transportation Security Administration! If you've got a valid U.S. passport, $85, and the time to head down to your local application office for a background check, the TSA PreCheck designation is available to you. What are the benefits? At the top of the list, TSA PreCheck allows you to walk right past the long line of travelers in the public security line, skip taking off your belt and shoes, but only saves time for outbound trips. This means, once you're headed back into the country after your international getaway, you'll still have to be checked by customs before heading home.
Details on Global Entry:
For international travelers looking to save time both ways, consider the new and improved Global Entry designation. This program has all the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus a dedicated customs agent line, which can help you save time on your return trips. Global entry also requires a valid passport, one other form of identification, a $100 fee, and time spent at an application office near you. The verdict? If you're traveling internationally within the next five years, Global Entry is well worth the upfront investment.
Tip: If you happen to have certain participating credit cards -- such as Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Amex Cinturion -- you can your Global Entry status for free. Plenty of other banking institutions offer benefits to Global Entry applicants, so be sure to check with your credit card provider for details.
Need more help planning your next trip? Last week, we shared our favorite tips to get a passport or visa in no time plus our favorite beauty products to travel with. Earlier this year, we also rounded up the best travel planning smartphone apps and tips for long-distance flights! Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking the envelope at the top righthand corner of this screen, and 'Like' us on Facebook so you never miss a beat!