TSA Precheck: Everything You Need to Know

TSA Precheck, which stands for Transportation Security Administration PreCheck, is an expedited security process that allows passengers to go through airport screening without removing their shoes, liquids, laptops, and belts. The program has been popular since it was introduced in 2013 and now has more than 2 million members in addition to the 15 million who have active Global Entry passes. Despite these numbers, there are still plenty of misconceptions about TSA Precheck and how you can get approved for it. Read on for information about TSA Precheck benefits and how to sign up.

What are the Benefits?

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One of the biggest draws of TSA Precheck is that it can save you valuable time, which is especially beneficial if you fly frequently. Once you’re approved for TSA Precheck, go through security lanes that are exclusive to pre-approved flyers who have been prescreened by law enforcement officials and don’t need additional screening.

 This can cut down on wait times and make your traveling experience more relaxing. Another benefit of getting TSA Precheck status is knowing that you won’t be selected for random screenings at checkpoints—and we all know how much time they waste when they do happen (and then they hold up everyone else waiting in line).

 If you travel a lot, TSA Precheck will also give you access to expedited screening at select airports; some even offer dedicated lines for pre-approved passengers. If you travel internationally, one of the best benefits of TSA Precheck is that it allows you to use automated passport control kiosks instead of standing in long immigration lines.

How Can I Get It?

There are two ways to apply for TSA precheck: you can do it online or in person at one of the 100 participating airports. After you’ve applied and paid (there’s an $85 nonrefundable application fee), you’ll fill out an extensive form about your personal information. These details will be cross-checked against Homeland Security and FBI databases.

 Once that process is complete, agents will give you a background check, and fingerprinting and take a photo of you for future identification purposes. If everything checks out, your application will be approved in just two days—and from there, TSA precheck status is valid for five years.

 What Can I Bring?: The biggest perk of TSA precheck is what you don’t have to take off before going through security: no shoes, belts, or light jackets. All electronics are allowed through security, as well as all liquids (but only in containers less than 3.4 ounces). Any sharp objects must also be stored in your checked luggage and not carry-on items.

How Does it Work?

TSA precheck is one of a number of expedited security clearance programs offered by TSA. It’s only available at a small number of airports, but it might be right for you. So how does it work? First, you’ll apply online and pay $85 (children 12 and under are free).

After that, when you arrive at airport security, present your boarding pass and ID. If approved, you can use special TSA-designated lanes for quicker screening — no removing your shoes or liquids in carry-on bags is required! Then wait in a shorter line with other members until it’s time to board your flight. As part of applying for TSA precheck, you’ll also submit fingerprints.

The Transportation Security Administration will conduct a background check before deciding whether to approve your application

Is it Worth It?

Before you sign up for TSA precheck, consider whether or not it’s right for you. If you travel frequently and don’t mind paying a little extra, it may be worth your while; but if you tend to fly once in a while (or are on a budget), it probably isn’t worth it.

Also keep in mind that certain airlines have their own version of TSA precheck, so you might get better perks from your preferred carrier. The bottom line? Check out all your options before signing up. It’ll save you some money and make traveling easier.

But what is TSA precheck, exactly? And how does it work? Essentially, precheck is like going through security before you even get there. When you book flights through certain carriers—Delta, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines—you can reserve your place in the TSA precheck line at more than 200 airports nationwide. So instead of standing around with everyone else waiting to take off your shoes and empty your pockets, you can zip by faster than ever!


TSA PreCheck, which provides expedited screening for pre-approved passengers, is now available at nearly 200 airports. If you haven’t considered signing up for TSA PreCheck, you might want to think about it—it can be a real-time saver when you’re checking in at airports and going through security. We took a closer look at what exactly TSA PreCheck is, how it works and who should consider signing up.

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