Have you ever travelled on air? If so, you might have faced the problem of waiting for a long time in the security line at the airport. Many of us have missed our flights due to this problem. But there are solutions available to skip security lines at the airport.
Ways to skip security lines at the airport
There are 2 ways of getting separate access to skip airport security lines:
Memberships to skip security lines at the airport
If you have seen some people coming to your next line to get cleared fast, it means that they hold membership in traveller programs provided by the U.S Government.
The U.S government has been offering two memberships for the people who are travelling abroad or within their nation.
- TSA PreCheck
- Global Entry
- ELITE Status
TSA PreCheck (Transportation Security Administration) administered by the U.S Government, is a trusted and traveller program that allows selected members of certain programs to travel within the nation.
People having membership access to TSA PreCheck can get their way into the hall rather than waiting in the security line for long, thereby you can skip security lines at the airport. TSA PreCheck is applicable for domestic travel only.
Also, you won’t need to remove certain belongings like laptops, shoes, belts, liquids, jackets etc. if you are a member of the TSA PreCheck program.
For applying for membership at TSA PreCheck, it takes just five minutes to complete thereby, you have to schedule an in-person appointment for the background verification and fingerprinting at the enrollment centre.
This is applicable only for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals and lawful permanent residents. As this membership applies only to domestic travellers, you don’t need a valid passport to attain this membership.
This membership costs $85 for a five-year membership which has to be paid during the enrollment process.
Like TSA PreCheck, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry also provides membership facilities willing to travel abroad and within the nation.
This membership applies to travellers who enter the United States through automatic entry at select airports. Though you have a membership, sometimes it may take time to get entry into the nation depending on the situation.
The prechecking process for travellers to attain this membership is very strict and in violation of terms related to the membership program, leads to the termination of the traveller’s membership privileges.
This membership program is applicable for anyone who bides with the rules of this program.
This membership costs $100 for a five-year membership which has to be paid during the enrollment program.
How to apply for Global Entry:
- Create a Trusted Traveler Programs account (TTP).
- Log in to your TTP application and pay a $100 non-refundable fee.
- After approval of your application, schedule an appointment for an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Centre.
- Bring your valid Identification form (Driver’s license, ID card) along with your passport to the interview.
Looking at the feasibility of the application process, TSA PreCheck is easier than Global entry because even if you qualify for the Global Entry, finding the Global entry enrollment centre is harder than that finding a TSA enrollment centre.
This Program enables you to get your way through the formalities very fast comparing with the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. The process of this program is so unique that it utilizes biometrics and allows you to enter through the security queues / skip security lines at the airport.
CLEAR is used at Airports, Sports Stadiums to ease the way to their customers while entering.
It costs $15 per month or $179 annually, free for children under 18. For students, special pricing of $50 a year.
Once you become a member of CLEAR, you won’t need to show/do anything further as the CLEAR ambassador escorts you through the dedicated CLEAR lanes.
Any U.S. citizen of age greater than or equal to 18 is eligible for getting enrolled in CLEAR. International citizens aren’t eligible for this program.
One of the advantages you can have in this program is that there will be no background verification.
Being a member of CLEAR, you can enjoy various benefits like discounts on airline tickets, hotels etc. On average, you can process through the entire security process within 5 minutes.
At present, CLEAR is available at 8 stadiums and 38 U.S. airports.
These are the essentials required for enrollment into CLEAR:
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Driver’s License
- U.S. Passport Card
- U.S.-issued Permanent Resident Card
- State-issued ID
- U.S. Military ID
This status is provided by most U.S. airlines for their members to give access through the security screening lines. Before booking tickets, make sure your airline has access to these perks and act accordingly, thereby you can skip security lines at the airport.
American Airlines: American Airlines provide “Priority privileges” which includes security screening, priority check-in for its members who have chosen the “ Executive Platinum, Platinum pro, Platinum, and Gold, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby” programs.
United Airlines: Just like American Airlines, United Airlines allow to provide “Premier Access perks” to their customers who hold “Premiere 1K, Premiere Platinum, Premiere Gold, and Premiere Silver) memberships, travellers with business and first-class tickets, can skip security lines at the airport.
Passengers can attain this “Premier Access Perks” status by paying an additional sum of $15 while booking their tickets.
Delta Air Lines: Delta Airlines provide “Sky Priority” perks which are available for Diamond, Platinum and Gold medallion members, members of Sky Team Elite Plus, business class, first-class ticket holders, which allows them to skip security lines at the airport.
JetBlue: JetBlue provides “Even More Speed” status to its customers belong to TrueBlue Mosaic and JetBlue Mint. Travellers can attain this status by paying an additional $15 while booking their tickets.
Southwest Airlines: They provides “ Fly by Priority lane” status thereby allowing for quicker access to their members (A-list and A-list Preferred) and business class ticket holders, hence they can skip security lines at the airport.
Alaska Airlines: The MVP Gold, 75K Mileage Plan, American AAdvantage Platinum and Executive Platinum members are accessible for quicker passage through the security screening lines/ can skip security lines at the airport.
Offers on memberships:
Though you want to skip security lines at the airport, the cost of the membership fee makes you rethink your plan but several Organisations provide discounts on the above-mentioned memberships which are described as follows:
- American Express offers reimbursement on your application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry as long as you are the annexe Platinum Card Holder.
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve also provides reimbursement on your application fee including a welcome bonus, travel credits, rewards on payment etc.
- The Centurion Card from American Express offers a discount on CLEAR membership to cardholders.
- Delta Airlines have their own branded credit cards which allow their cardholders to pay for CLEAR membership at a discounted price of $109 per year.
- American Express Green Cardholders receive a $100 statement credit every year when they use this card for paying the CLEAR membership fee.
- Like Delta Airlines, United Airlines allows its branded cardholder to pay for CLEAR membership at a discounted price of $109 per year.
- For Frequent Delta travellers holding Diamond Medallion Elite status and for United Airlines MileagePlus Premier 1K Elite Status Members, receive a complimentary CLEAR membership.
- For travellers of status other than Diamond Medallion Elite at Delta Airlines and MileagePlus Premier 1K elite at United Airlines, they are eligible for attaining the CEAR membership at a discounted price of $109 per year.
From the above discount offers, you won’t hesitate to think again to skip security lines at the airport.
Apps to skip security lines at the airport:
Mobile applications are also available for providing/notifying you of the ways of getting quicker access through the security screening lines/ to skip security lines at the airport.
- Mobile Passport Control, the first app to be authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), gives travellers a quicker way through the airport security screening lines across 24 airports in the U.S
They can incorporate their passport details into the app and also other essentials into it. They will receive a QR code with which the customs officers can scan with their passport and provide quick access through the security screening lines/ can skip security lines at the airport.
- TripIt is another app that shows the airport security wait times at various airports and also shows the exact duration it will take to get to each gate. It costs $49 annually.
- MiFlight is another app free of cost, monitors airport security wait times based on crowd-sourced updates via social sharing.
- My TSA is an app launched by TSA, provides estimated wait times at various airports and also answers queries regarding TSA PreCheck Enrollment.
Tips to Skip Security lines at the airport
Here, we incorporated few tips in order to make you skip security lines at the airport easier:
- Try to reach your airport as early as possible to avoid waiting longer in the security lines.
- Try to avoid travelling during peak travel times. Airports are mostly busy on the following days:
- Friday afternoons
- Monday Mornings
- During Thanksgiving, Christmas
- Business trips at the beginning and the end of each week.
We hope you have gone through this article and have acquired clarity regarding the best way to skip security lines at the airport.