How to Make Holiday Air Travel a Little Bit Easier
With the holidays around the corner and air travel at an all-time high, it's no wonder people are experiencing a little high anxiety just thinking about travel.
Major lines and long wait times at airport security is the major cause of most American air travel angst. What if I told you spending a few moments online right now can take care of that problem?
Here are three options to get you through airport security lines a little faster this Holiday Season:
TSA PreCheck is a U.S. government program that allows "low-risk" passengers to pass through a security screening by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ahead of others waiting in line. Once approved, you no longer have to remove your shoes, laptops, or quart-size bags for screening.
By far the most popular. TSA Pre-Check averaged a wait time of fewer than five minutes this year. It's an easy process of applying online, scheduling a ten-minute appointment for fingerprints and a background check, and lastly adding your Known Traveler Number (the number TSA gives you if you are deemed safe to travel by air) to your airline tickets when making your reservation.
More than 200 airports in the US utilize TSA Precheck. Be sure to check your departure airports for this option.
One of the reasons TSA Precheck is so popular is that many credit cards offer TSA Precheck as one of their benefits. Check your cards to see if it is a benefit before applying for a new one.
CLEAR is very similar to TSA Precheck in that you can apply online or at one of their airport offices, finish the background check and fingerprints and/or eye prints at the airport, and then look for their CLEAR lanes at the airport. CLEAR works in tandem with TSA Precheck.
CLEAR is strictly an identification process. It allows you to not have to show ID, rather you are identified by your fingerprint or eye recognition. You still have to wait in the security screening lines and be subjected to TSA requirements. Whereas with Precheck, you still have to show your identity documents, but you get to breeze through the physical security screening.
A popular benefit of CLEAR is that many other establishments use CLEAR when there is a need for identification such as at sporting events and concerts.
A branch of Clear, Reserve powered by CLEAR is the only option where you make a reservation for an airport security time prior to your flight departure. The free mobile app allows you to book a reserved time for TSA security. The staff meet you at your reserved time and take you directly through security. No need to wait in line.
Currently at 7 US Airports. In the U.S. travelers can find Reserve lanes at the following airports:
-John F. Kennedy International Airport, Terminal 4
-Los Angeles International Airport, Terminals 7 and 8 (called LAX Fast Lane)
-Orlando International Airport, East and West Checkpoints
-Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal A and Terminal B (called EWR Virtual Line) ----Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Checkpoint 3 and Checkpoint 5 (called SEA Spot Saver) -Phoenix Sky-Harbor International Airport, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4
Travelers should be aware that some of the airports only operate the fast lanes during set hours each day. Check the Reserve powered by Clear website and the app to see the airports that allow reservations for times and to make your reservation.
*Holiday Travel Tip: Don't wrap gifts. TSA and International Customs may unwrap them. Pack gifts bags/Tissue paper sets (affiliate ?) Flat wrapping paper packs (Affiliate?)