Why I’m Glad That I Have TSA PreCheck


The DCA Terminal C TSA PreCheck line is to the far left and is wide open.  The other security lines had a 30+ minute wait.  This photo was taken from the DCA Admirals Lounge.

My Citi Prestige credit card comes with a $100 global entry which posts as a statement credit after you pay the $100 global entry fee with your Citi Prestige card.  Global Entry is a program that reduces that amount of time it takes you to pass through U.S. Customs when you reenter the U.S. and it also comes with TSA PreCheck eligibility:

Global entry

I was impressed with how quickly you can get approved for the Global Entry program.  About a month after I submitted my Global Entry application, I had completed my interview and received my Global Entry ID card.  While I haven’t used the Global Entry program yet, I frequently use the TSA PreCheck program.  TSA PreCheck is a great benefit when it works.  Airports typically have separate TSA PreCheck security lines with shorter lines and more lenient searches.

Today I flew with two computers and various sorts of metal on my clothing (watch, belt, etc.).  I placed my bags on the conveyor belt and emptied my pockets–my shoes and belt stayed on any my computers stayed in their bag.  The best part is that I walked right up to the TSA agent who was checking IDs, there was no line.  If I did not have TSA PreCheck clearance, I would have waited in an unfortunately long line (shown above).

At other times the TSA PreCheck program is less helpful.  I recently flew out of BWI and the TSA PreCheck lane was closed.  I had to wait in the general security line but I was able to leave my shoes and belt on when I went through security, I just needed to show the TSA folks that I had a TSA PreCheck designation on my boarding pass.  While I certainly would have preferred a separate and shorter line (who wouldn’t?), this compromise was certainly better than I had expected.

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