TSA PreCheck has been a travel game changer for anyone who has it. Even if I back off and only fly a few times a year I will always hold and pay for (via a travel card rebate perk, clearly) TSA PreCheck. It is just that much of a time saver for me.
Clear, as a top Delta elite, is provided at no charge. I do not think I would hold it if I only flew one or two times a year but as someone who is almost always at the airport, it also is simply a must have part of my travel. Even if Delta did not pay for this service I would happily pay for it (with a discount due to holding my Delta Amex card).
But there is a major issue with BOTH of these amazing travel convenience programs – they are never (that I have ever seen) available when you first enter the USA and have just cleared customs and need to again clear security before your connecting flight. Then what do you do?
Personally I am not the type, who has not been spoiled with the convenience and speed of the above, who is willing to stand in a very long line and then – after the long wait – take my shoes off and laptop out and on and on… But what else can you do? Simple:
Exit and re-enter the airport!
This can be an amazing time saver depending on the airport (some are less efficient than others as a warning). Take SEA Seattle SeaTac International. Last time I was traveling through there internationally with a group of friends I quickly judged the mess in front of me and exited the customs area, took the escalator all the way, shot past the LONG line at TSA PreCheck (with help of CLEAR) and was back in the airport in no time with shoes firmly in place and laptop never out of my bag – #Winning!
I had time to enjoy a drink and finish a snack in the stunning SEA Sky Club before my friends, who were none too happy about the time it took, rolled on in to the club. They were incredulous that I got in so fast (and seemed to disappear as well). I explained to them what they should have done.
The same thing does work in Detroit but there you have to judge how long the lines are but I still exit and re-enter in #DTW. Now in ATL it is not as simple. The international terminal may not have PreCheck up and running or have pseudo PreCheck “lite” going. Still often better than what happens below in the basement! 😉
Bottom line is simply this – if you are at an airport with CLEAR and PreCheck do consider the option to not wait in a long line of maybe 100 folks, all of whom are really worthless at the whole security line thing! – Rene