Tips for Avoiding Lines at The Airport

Tips for Avoiding Lines at The Airport

Having to wait in lines at airport security is one of the worst things when you are traveling. These huge lines can easily make your tough journey even more stressful and time-consuming. 

Is there a way to avoid these lines at the airport? Keep on reading to learn about the options you can use to make your travel quicker and more comfortable without the need to arrive at the airport several hours before your flight.

Choose TSA PreCheck

Many people want to travel to other countries and visit new places. Those who can’t pay for the vacation of their dreams may take out the best personal loans for fair credit. While traveling brings joy and positive impressions, waiting in the security lines at the airport can be rather annoying.

This is one of the most reliable traveler programs run by the US government. It lets the members of this program utilize expedited security lanes and avoid long lines at over 200 American airports. This program is beneficial to travelers who wish to speed up the security process and avoid taking off their belts, shoes, and jackets, or removing liquid and laptops. It costs $85 for a period of 5 years. Consumers who own an American Express Platinum Card can qualify for free TSA PreCheck and this program will renew every five years.

How to Apply for TSA PreCheck?

  • Submit a web application form with the necessary information.
  • You will be appointed to a meeting at a Transportation Security Administration Enrollment Center to have an in-person interview.
  • Those who are approved during the interview will obtain a Known Traveler Number. This number should be entered during the booking of the flight. Hence, the TSA PreCheck logo will appear on the boarding pass and let you go through a special line.

Select Global Entry

This is a version of the TSA PreCheck program but it’s accepted worldwide and offers additional benefits. International travelers who wish to skip the long waiting lines may opt for Global Entry. It costs $100 and allows you to enjoy the benefits for 5 years. You will be able to utilize the kiosks instead of going to customs declaration lines when coming back to the USA from overseas. 

What you need to do is scan your US permanent resident card or passport at a Global Entry kiosk, scan your fingerprints, and submit the customs declaration form. This easy procedure will help you return to the USA faster and save you time.

How to Apply for Global Entry?

You need to ensure you qualify for Global Entry before you submit the application.

  • Create your Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account. It’s necessary to have your TTP account no matter what your age is.
  • Log in to your account and submit the application form. Each application will cost a $100 fee which is non-refundable.
  • The US Customs and Border Protection will check your application once it’s submitted. An interview will be scheduled with every applicant at a Global Entry Enrollment Center.
  • Make sure to provide your valid passports booklet and ID or driver’s license at the interview. The permanent resident cards should be machine readable for lawful permanent residents.

Opt for Clear

This is another suitable option for those who aim to skip security lines. Unlike the previous two options, Clear is an extra service available at 40 airports and is a private company. More than that, Homeland Security has approved it. There is no need to join membership at the previous two programs. 

Apart from avoiding airport lines, consumers who choose Clear will also get supplemental bonuses and avoid waiting in lines at concerts and sporting events. Interview or in-person appointments aren’t compulsory here as you may apply on the web. 

The only downside of this program is its higher cost. You will need to pay $179 annually to enjoy these perks. This program utilizes the traveler’s biometric data (iris or fingerprint scan) instead of checking the photo identification manually. However, if you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, there is no need to pay additional money for Clear as you will also be able to go through the TSA PreCheck lane at the airport.

How to Apply for Clear?

You can order a Clear Plus membership on the web and pay $189 annually for it. Travelers who are members of some airline loyalty programs may receive discounts on this membership.

Get Upgraded Airfare with Priority Lane Access

Furthermore, you can get upgraded flight tickets with access to priority security lanes. Not each airport offers this possibility but you may do some research and benefit from this option, especially during holidays and other busy times. For instance, choosing United’s Premier Access allows you to have priority boarding and access to quicker check-in lines apart from having exclusive security lanes.

Do you know how many airports are in the USA today? The number of private use airports has increased since 1990 while the number of public use airports has fallen in the USA recently. The number of private airports increased from 11,901 to 14,704 but the number of public airports decreased from 5,589 to 5,217. 

Tips for Avoiding Lines at The Airport

Consistent increases in the number of domestic passengers using major US airlines were seen in the last decade. Besides, the number of international passengers and the total number of passenger miles flown have increased as well. The decline in the number of regional flights for the past years explains the decrease in the number of public use airports.

The Bottom Line

When you are traveling, you may take advantage of special programs to help you skip the lines at the airport, get upgraded airfare with priority lane access, obtain a higher class of airfare, priority boarding, or membership to security clearance options. 

The mentioned programs and options help you save your valuable time and enjoy your flight. Apart from that, you may get a free mobile app called Mobile Passport if you are a Canadian or US citizen. This app doesn’t demand background checks or interviews but offers access to faster lanes for $15 a year.