First Hand: Applying for TSA Pre-Check

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By Brant McAleer, Account Manager at InsureMyTrip.com

In my role at InsureMyTrip, I do a fair amount of travel. I also love to travel on my personal time. There is nothing like seeing the world to help you understand it. Being that I am an avid traveler, I thought that it made sense to get my TSA Pre Check to help reduce the time that it takes to get through the security lines.

Why TSA Pre-Check?

We’ve all had that gut wrenching view of the snake-like TSA line as we entered the terminal and thought, “There is no way that I will make it through this line in time to make my flight, and I’m here early!”

These lines are a fact of the traveler’s life these days and the TSA is doing all that they can to keep us all safe. It is, as is said, a necessary evil these days and I am thankful for the TSA for doing what they can. One of these things is the TSA Pre-Check line, which requires a monetary fee and an application/interview process.

Quick Application

The application process was pretty easy. I was surprised at the efficiency of the system. This being a government operated program I did not know what to expect. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised. The Universal Enroll site is clean with easy to understand directions. A few minutes into the process and I was done with a submitted application.

The On-Site Interview

That too was easy and, best of all, they had times that worked for my schedule in the near-future and some farther out. I scheduled mine for two business days in the future on my lunch break. They had earlier options too but that was one was the best for my schedule.

I showed up to the building, which was located in a small office park and checked in. They took my passport and confirmed my appointment. I waited for roughly 10 minutes before my name was called. I was hoping to snap some pictures with my phone to accompany this post, however there were signs posted everywhere that say that photos are not allowed.

I entered into an office with an array of high tech equipment including computers, a digital camera, and some other black boxes with lights blinking and biometric readers for finger printing. Despite my efforts to crack the stern but friendly facade of the employee behind the machinery to learn about what I was seeing with some lack-luster jokes, he revealed little information.

I placed my hands on the scanners and confirmed some information while he was typing away at the computer, and I was done. With a swipe of my credit card for the $85 fee (good for the 5 year privilege of streamlined intra-terminal travel) I was on my way back to the office. All-in-all, it was a surprisingly easy and efficient process.

The Benefits

I look forward to keeping on my shoes and belt, not having to pull out my laptop, take off my jacket, and leaving my liquids in my bag as I hopefully swoop through the line as my fellow travelers are grumbling in the lengthy line next to me. If you travel frequently, the fee and process is a small price to pay for the convenience and reduction in stress that air travel inherently brings.

Oh, and one last thing…I used my credit card that builds air miles so that I can use them toward my next trip. Always a good idea.

See you on the road and looking forward to the next adventure.

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