How to Know if Your TSA Precheck Has Been Approved
If you are a frequent flier and you just can’t stand the wait in the long queues and the strict security checks at the airports which can be too much of a hassle most times, then opting for a TSA precheck is the best alternative to help you get a bit of a relieve on your next visit to the airport. Firstly, for those not in the know, we are going to discuss extensively on the meaning, benefit, application and finally to the approval process of your TSA precheck.
What is TSA Precheck?
TSA precheck is established by the Transportation Security Administration and is a division of USA’s Homeland security with the sole purpose of checking passengers and their baggage before their arrival at the airport.
Enrolment fee adds up to about $85 for a period of five years. It is run by 73 member airlines across 200 airport
Benefits of TSA Precheck
Apart from the ease of getting attended to faster on a separate wait line at the airport, there are lots of benefits that passengers with TSA precheck get to enjoy such as:
- Leaving your shoes on when you are undergoing security check
- Also, you can wear your outerwear and jackets and belts at the checkpoint.
- Your laptop and liquids stay in your bag throughout the check.
- If you are accompanied by a child of 12 years or younger, they get to also join you in the precheck line without having to enroll for theirs.
TSA Prechecks do not only help the wait line to move faster, but gives you the comfort of not having to unpack your bags after all the work you put in to pack up in the first place. Each traveler gets to spend a maximum of ten minutes on the screening lines.
Who is Eligible for a TSA Precheck?
To be able to apply for a TSA precheck, you have to be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident. Your background check will feature details on transportation security regulations compliance. Any violations or cases of false information will exclude you from approval.
Also criminal offenses might deter you from getting approved. In addition, if you are from any of these countries below, you can use your Global Entry to apply for your precheck.
Argentina, Germany, India, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, Panama, Singapore and Colombia.
How To Apply For TSA Precheck?
The application process for a TSA Precheck is initially online where you’ll fill out your personal information before proceeding to schedule an appointment for an interview. After your interview where you would be required to show up with all required documents and your enrolment fee of $85.
It is always advisable to apply a little while away as some people who have applied complained of having to wait as long as 90 days to get a response after their interview. But of course, no matter how long you had to wait, you’ll realize that the wait was worth it upon approval.
What Happens When Your Tsa Precheck Application Gets Approved?
As soon as you have concluded your wait-in interview where you presented relevant documents and answered questions from the panel, you will be notified if you have been accepted into the program within five days while in some cases, it might take months to receive further updates which is why the informed traveler should apply and schedule interviews a long time away from date of departure. To show that your TSA precheck application has been duly approved, you will be notified alongside with what is called the “known Traveler Number” which is what qualifies you for a precheck.
Your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is what qualifies you to join the precheck lane during subsequent times of traveling. It can equally be entered when trying to book reservations online.
The annual cost of renewing your TSA precheck membership standards is packed at about $17 annually.
Once your KTN is entered on your next flight booking, your flight boarding pass when printed will read “precheck”.
Even when you are still enrolled in the program, there are times you may book a flight and your boarding pass doesn’t indicate the precheck status which is nothing to panic about being a standard security measure. If it is not indicated on your boarding pass, you will not be allowed to join the TSA precheck queue.
In addition, if your preferred airline or airport is not a member of the TSA program, you cannot enjoy the benefit of a precheck. If you are a part of any frequent flier program with partner airlines, include your known traveler number in your profile so that they can easily be added to your subsequent boarding passes in future.
Alternatives to TSA Precheck Program
Apart from TSA precheck, there are four other trusted traveler programs which you can equally enlist for if you do not qualify for a TSA precheck.
These programs are:
- Global Entry which helps with accelerated screening of individuals making a return to the US from another country. It is directly overseen by customs and like TSA, is an arm of Homeland security. If you are enrolled in the Global Entry program, you’ll be granted direct access to TSA precheck but never the other way round.
- NEXUS is the next alternative to TSA which grants you the benefit of access Global Entry and TSA precheck.
- SENTRI works for those at the USE border towards the South which helps you enjoy a faster entry into Mexico without having to go through unnecessary and time consuming checks at the borders.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Does my TSA Precheck Expire?
Enrolments are initially valid for five years and once approved, expiry dates will be indicated
Are TSA Precheck and Global Entry the Same Thing?
The simple answer would be NO. TSA precheck helps quicken the security screening process at the airport while Global Entry assists in fastening the pace of re-entering the US when returning from a foreign country.
A member of Global Entry has access to TSA precheck but a member of TSA precheck cannot access Global Entry.
How do I Check my TSA Precheck Status?
To know if you have been approved, head to TSA official website and follow the prompts
How Long Does it take for a TSA Precheck to be Approved?
It could take anywhere between 5 to 60 days to receive your notification.
How do I find my TSA precheck Number?
On your approval mail, you will find your TSA precheck number AKA Known Traveler Number in the form of a 9-digit usually beginning with 15, 98, or 99.
What Should I do if I Fail to Add my TSA Precheck when Booking?
If you have forgotten to add your Known Traveler Number during the period of booking your flight, you can conveniently go back and edit this bit of information or get in touch with the customer care desk to help you rectify this.
TSA precheck saves the day for every person who can’t stand the time-consuming and energy draining checks they have to undergo each time at the airport. Once you are approved and receive your written information via email which contains your Known Travelers Number, you realize that getting past security and boarding your flight becomes less of a nightmare.