If you’re like us, the mere thought of an airport starts to raise your stress level. Time is so essential when you are trying to catch a flight, and yet there are so many problems that can hold up the process, from long security lines to baggage drop-off issues.
That’s why so many people are opting for an airport hack: TSA PreCheck. This program lets you go through background screening in advance to identify you as a low-risk traveler so you can skip security lines and have an easier security check.
The ultimate question is, is TSA PreCheck worth it? 8.5 million members seem to think so, but find out for yourself.
Benefits of TSA PreCheck
TSA PreCheck may require an upfront cost, but the benefits you get for that price are invaluable. Here are the top benefits you can enjoy.
Keeping Your Day Moving
The most obvious benefit, and the reason most people join TSA PreCheck, is to save time.
For average travelers, TSA recommends getting to the airport two hours before your flight. While they do not give a specific time recommendation for those with TSA PreCheck, the security lines are often the longest part of the process for getting through the airport. With that time cut to a minimum, the process goes much more quickly.
Keep in mind that you’ll still need to allow time for the other parts of the process, though. That includes airport parking, baggage check if necessary, and time to get to your gate.
Benefitting the Whole Family
If you have young children and you travel with them on occasion, your TSA PreCheck goes even further. When you’re in the PreCheck program, your immediate family members who are 12 and under can also use the PreCheck lane.
Considering how much of a struggle it can be to get young kids through an airport quickly, this can be a gamechanger.
Fewer Checkpoint Hassles
When you go through airport security, it isn’t time alone that is frustrating. It is also irritating to deal with the specific tasks: removing your shoes, belt, and coat, taking electronics out of your bags, and more.
TSA PreCheck makes the process smoother and easier. You don’t need to remove anything unless it has metal on it. Electronics and liquids can stay in your bag.
No More Fighting the Crowds
When you are flying around the holidays or flying at another busy time, you need to plan around the crowds. You might try to book your flight at an inconvenient time so you aren’t stuck in a crowd of other travelers. One of the main reasons people do this is to avoid long security lines.
If you have TSA PreCheck, this is no longer an issue. While you might run into crowds checking your bag, your PreCheck security line will keep moving despite the backups in the standard passenger line.
The Cost of TSA PreCheck
With all the benefits of TSA PreCheck, there needs to be a catch, right? In this case, the only catch is the additional fee: $85 every five years.
Is TSA PreCheck Worth It?
Of course, every person needs to determine on their own whether TSA PreCheck’s benefits are worth the program fee. To us, however, it’s a matter of simple math.
Consider how much your time is worth. If you save half an hour every time you fly, chances are that you’ll make up for that $85 fee in no time.
Is TSA PreCheck worth it for you? Regardless of your answer, you can find plenty of other travel hacks on our travel blog.