There is so much travel news that comes out each week that it is hard to consider what to blog about and what to just link to in a weekly / monthly news roundup post. But this one really just has to be covered because it drives me crazy.
First off, I know there are some folks who just cannot get TSA PreCheck due to location or what you may have done in your “past life” before you became a frequent flyer. I feel for you. This post is not for you, clearly, but for everyone else in the line you see above.
On the TSA website, in a post called: “TSA raising aviation security baseline with stronger domestic security measures” what all will have to do is outlined. The key part for travelers is that you will have to, in addition to your laptop, get out “…personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening…“.
Personally I have no real problem with this. If you have ever been through security at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport you know that even a single electrical cord left in your bag will mean your time in security will be MUCH longer than if you had taken everything, yes everything, out of your bag and put it into a bin. So this change in the US is nothing new for most world travelers.
Now to my soap box! 🙂
I have had TSA PreCheck (along with Global Entry) for over 5 years now. In fact about 1 year ago today I renewed both as you can do so up to a year before it expires. I was smart enough to use any number of cards to pay for that renewal and get the $100 fee credited back to me for BOTH the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck for another 5 years. Now let me put this as delicately as I can (assuming you qualify, that is).
If you are TOO CHEAP to spend $20 / year for these two amazing travel tools you have NO RIGHT to gripe about long lines at airport security!
Because the TSA side also tells us that “The stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are using TSA PreCheck lanes.” So laptop, tablets or whatever stay in your bag and you fly through security in no time.
Now you may say “I don’t have cards that will pay me back for this fee”. OK, then go get one (like today)!
For example, one of the best choices right now is the The (non-Delta) AMEX Business Platinum Card. After spend you get 75,000 points that you could spend buying Delta tickets at 1 cent value each and then you get 35% of those points back to spend again (if you choose Delta as your preferred airline). That is sweet value. Also you can, if you want to, send them to Delta 1:1 and they transfer almost instantly for award tickets. The card also comes with $200 per year credit in incidental costs and many simply buy Delta e-Gift cards each year to lock in this credit. Lastly, and the point of this post, you can get this card and every 5 years get the $100 Global Entry + TSA PreCheck fee credited back to you! I hold this card year after year after year – it is a must have for me.
Now you may be on the other side of this equation – you may have 5, or even 10, cards that ALL include the $100 credit for Global Entry + TSA PreCheck but you cannot just keep paying and then stack it on the end (that would be nice right). But I am assuming you have a mother or father or sister or brother or someone you call a friend – right? Do they EVER get on an airplane even once every 5 years? If they do why not pay for their fee to get Global Entry + TSA PreCheck as yes, you will get the credit for paying their fee and then THEY will not have to risk the lines you see at the photo at the top of this post.
Folks, I could go on about this all day long. If there is one thing that makes my blood boil it is people who could avoid security lines but don’t because they are too lazy to do what it takes to avoid it. Make the choice now to get this done. Oh and if you fly at least 1x a month – please get CLEAR (discounted for SkyMiles members and Delta Amex card holders) as well after you have Global Entry + PreCheck. That tiny fee per year is also well worth it if you even fly just once a month! – René