Travel Better. Faster. Smarter: Cutting Airport Check-in Time to Mere Minutes

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Hate lines? (Who doesn’t?!) Travel often for work (or pleasure) domestically? Well, there may be a few options for you to curtail your time through security gates at US airports. Check out these 3 options to cut down your commute time before you even board your next flight.

1. GLOBAL ENTRY

136062803Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival in the United States. Though intended for frequent international travelers, there is no minimum number of trips necessary to qualify for the program. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at several select airports. Once at the airport, travelers can proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

How do you get on the list?  First, you must fill out an online application and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee. Once your application is reviewed, you will receive a message instructing you to schedule and interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers

However, the program is not delay-proof. While Global Entry’s goal is to speed travelers through the process, members may be selected for further examination when entering the United States.

2. TSA PRE-CHECK

Travel-Airport Security Fast TrackTSA Pre✓™ allows low-risk travelers to experience expedited, more efficient security screening at more than 100 U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic & international travel. An applicant must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. Interested applicants must visit an application center to provide valid identity/citizenship/immigration information, and be fingerprinted.  and will be required to provide valid required identity and citizenship/immigration documentation. There is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $85.

 

After completing enrollment, successful applicants will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) via U.S. mail approximately 2-3 weeks following the visit to the application center. An applicant also may check status online by visiting https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/ and clicking on “Service Status.” Once approved as eligible for TSA Pre✓™, the enrollee must enter the provided KTN in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field when booking travel reservations on any of the ten participating airlines.  The KTN also can be added when booking reservations online via a participating airline website, via phone call to the airline reservation center, or with the travel management company making reservations.  Additionally, the KTN can be entered in participating airline frequent flyer profiles, where it will be stored for future reservations.

Currently, TSA is accepting applications at more than 275 locations nationwide, including 23 airports.

 

3. CLEAR

flyclearNeed to fit in one more meeting? To knock out a couple of errands? For only about $15 per month, you can take control over your time again. CLEAR is for anyone who doesn’t like standing in lines and likes the idea of getting through airport security in roughly 5 minutes. It involves having a CLEARcard that stores an individual’s identity using biometrics – either through fingerprints or iris-scanning. Currently at 9 participating airports (including San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Denver, San Jose & San Francisco ) When you arrive at CLEARlane TSA security checkpoints, a CLEAR team member greets you at your lane. You then insert your CLEARcard into the kiosk, tap your finger and you get escorted straight to a physical screening. Voila. Done.

However, don’t be fooled. Clear is actually not new. It was founded in 2004, but the TSA ended the program in 2008 even with around 200,000 Clear customers who paid $199 a year for their biometric-based photo ID card. Just as Clear was gaining velocity, it was abruptly killed by an economic downturn, as well as overly ambitious expansion plans. It owed its senior creditor Morgan Stanley over approximately $33 million and tanked. However, current Chairman & CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker paid just $6 million to Morgan Stanley for Clear’s assets and later reorganized its operations under the name Alclear. Today, Seidman is determined to take Clear to the top with no turning back. The company is geared to expand to several other U.S. airports.

For more information about enrollment services, check out this video below and the company website.

There are also two other government options not described above. To learn more about the Nexus & Sentri programs, click HERE.