Bill to ban non-members from TSA PreCheck lanes

Members of the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck trusted traveler program could see shorter lines at the airport in the months ahead if a bill passed by the House of Representatives this week becomes law.

In order to relieve congestion in the main screening lines, TSA has routinely allowed non-members of PreCheck who are considered low-risk to use the expedited lanes – a privilege indicated by a PreCheck designation on their boarding passes.

But many PreCheck members who have gone through a security clearance procedure and paid for the faster screening have complained about the growing numbers of non-members in PreCheck lines– and their inability to get through quickly due to the novelty of the process.

So this week the House approved by voice vote a bipartisan bill that would bar TSA from letting non-members into the PreCheck lanes. It’s called the “PreCheck Is PreCheck Act of 2018.”

The legislation has the strong support of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which said in a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee that the practice of letting non-members into the PreCheck lines has “raised issues within the business travel community.” GBTA is a trade organization that represents corporate travel interests in Washington.

“PreCheck offers business travelers a risk-based, intelligence-driven aviation security that is fast, safe and efficient,” GBTA said. “Time is money for business travelers, and inefficient procedures reduce business travel due to the hassle factor and ultimately hurt the economy.”

The bill, HR 6265, mandates that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program (like PreCheck or Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program) will be allowed to use the expedited PreCheck screening lanes, effective no later than one year after the bill becomes law. The only exceptions for non-members would be travelers age 12

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How Global Entry for Family Works

The tourism industry is recovering from the pandemic, and so are airport lines. Security and immigration wait times can be as long as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and thankfully, there are ways to shorten them (at least in the United States) by utilizing Global Entry and TSA PreCheck lines.

Global Entry is designed to save time for trusted travelers returning to the United States from a trip abroad. Here’s all you need to know about getting Global Entry for your family and possibly getting it for free.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program allowing sped-up customs clearance. Enrolling in Global Entry will enable you to wait in a much shorter immigration line upon returning from abroad. Travelers head to the designated Global Entry kiosk and present their travel documentation. Once cleared, you’re directed to the baggage claim as usual.

Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck, which lets you go through a dedicated security line and save time at more than 200 U.S. airports. Add your Known Traveler Number to your air ticket and enjoy a shorter security line that lets you keep your shoes on and your laptop in the bag.

Does everyone in my family need their own Global Entry membership?

Using Global Entry with kids differs from using TSA PreCheck, which allows children ages 12 and younger to join their parents in the fast lane at the airport. Global Entry doesn’t offer this added flexibility. Only Global Entry members can enter a Global Entry immigration line.

This means that if you want your spouse or your children to go through a usually shorter immigration queue with you, they must enroll in Global Entry, no matter their age. Otherwise, you must separate and wait for them at the baggage claim.

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Will TSA PreCheck and Global Entry be merged?

There’s already considerable overlap between membership in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program and Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry. So does it make sense to keep operating the programs separately? precheckglobalentry-merged/”[FULL STORY & COMMENTS]

That’s what the federal government is starting to wonder.

According to recent press reports, TSA chief David Pekoske said in an appearance before airport executives that he and CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan are taking a “good hard look” at merging the two trusted traveler programs.


Pekoske said that the two agencies could make passenger processing much more efficient by combining their separate enrollment infrastructures, which currently represent ”a big duplication of efforts.”

Currently, members of CBP’s Global Entry program are afforded expedited security inspections for domestic trips as automatic participants in TSA PreCheck, but PreCheck members do not have reciprocal Global Entry privileges.

Together, the two programs have about 12 million current members. A combined trusted traveler program could also save money for participants: The five-year fee to join CBP’s Global Entry – which speeds up the arrivals process for international travelers – is $100, while PreCheck costs $85 for a five-year membership.

The TSA chief said that combining the two programs would also make sense in adopting new security-related biometric technologies like the facial recognition effort that CBP is testing for Global Entry.

Chris McGinnis is a travel blogger and editor of TravelSkills.com. The author is solely responsible for the content above, and it is used here by permission.  You can reach Chris at [email protected] or on Twitter @cjmcginnis.

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The Quick And Easy Way To Complete Your TSA PreCheck Enrollment You May Not Know About

As the number of air travelers continues to grow — and security lines get longer — many people are thinking about enrolling in Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.

If you’ve thought about enrolling in TSA PreCheck but haven’t due to the inconvenience of scheduling an enrollment appointment at the airport, there’s good news: You can now schedule that appointment at many Staples locations while you’re there picking up office or school supplies. While appointments are preferred, walk-ins are also welcomed.

TSA Precheck, Explained

TSA PreCheck, one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Programs, allows pre-screened low-risk travelers to use their designated lines rather than the other TSA security lines, the agency explains. That line moves quicker because PreCheck passengers don’t need to remove their shoes, belts, or light jackets, or remove their liquids bag or electronics from their carry-on luggage.

Last December, 91 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than 5 minutes, according to the TSA. Travelers can use TSA PreCheck lanes at more than 200 U.S. airports when flying on 85 domestic and foreign airlines.

Here’s what you need to know about having your TSA PreCheck in-person appointment at Staples.

How To Apply For TSA PreCheck

The first step is to search for a Staples location near you that offers TSA PreCheck services. You can search for those locations on the Staples website.

Once you verify that there is a participating Staples near you, the next step is to begin the enrollment process on the TSA PreCheck website. You’ll need to complete the application by supplying identifying information, including your date of birth, current address, and biometric information such as height, weight, and eye color.

Once you’re conditionally approved for TSA PreCheck, you’ll then need to schedule an in-person appointment at

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TSA PreCheck versus Global Entry: How to Choose

Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen

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Long lines. Taking shoes off. Taking out electronics. Scanners. These are just some of the hurdles we must navigate as air travelers these days. Is there a more efficient way to get through airport security lines? Absolutely. Read on to find out more about TSA precheck, Global Entry, CLEAR, and more trusted traveler programs. Find out which will work best for you and your family members…and for your budget!

TSA precheck security line.
PreCheck security lanes. Photo credit: Dee Dean

What are Trusted Traveler Programs?

Trusted Traveler Programs are a specific group of programs offered by the US Department of Homeland Security for travelers in and out of the United States. For a set fee, members can make use of expedited security screening lanes in US airports and when crossing international borders. TTPs simply make it easier for pre-approved travelers to navigate security lanes and board airplanes with a boarding pass in a relatively timely manner.

Some of the most recognizable Trusted Traveler Programs include:

  • TSA Precheck
  • Global Entry
  • CLEAR
  • Nexus
  • Sentri

Several of these programs have similar requirements, as well as notable differences. For the purposes of this post, we will cover the ones that pertain to air travel only, highlighting the perks for each one. Which is the right one for you? Let’s get started to find out!

Domestic Travel & Travel Into and Out of the US

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