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TSA PreCheck® Versus Global Entry

This is a gorgeous capture of a fire pit area on the beach in Mexico.

TSA PreCheck® Versus Global Entry

June 28, 2021

 

We all know that while traveling is incredible, the act of traveling to and from a destination is a little bit hectic and frankly, not always fantastic. Not to mention you throw in the nervousness and discomfort of flying, delays, and everything else that can be thrown at you and you’re in for a potentially unpleasant experience. One of the most uncomfortable experiences is waiting to get to the front of the long security line. Just to arrive at that pressure-filled moment once you’ve reached the end of the line, present your ID to the security officer and now it’s time to get down to business. This means removing your shoes, anything in your pockets, belts, electronics, toiletries...is that everything? Oh, my laptop needs to be in its own tray?

Both TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry are official traveler programs that improve your airport experience by making it a little bit easier. You don’t want to join both programs given Global Entry already includes all of the benefits of TSA PreCheck®. Let’s start with a quick breakdown of each program.

TSA PreCheck®

  • Costs $85 for a 5 year membership.
  • You are able to use the TSA PreCheck® security line which is significantly shorter.
  • The TSA PreCheck® security line is available at most airports.
  • Any of your children 12 years old or younger can join you in line as well. 
  • You do not need to remove your shoes, laptop, toiletries, etc. when using the TSA PreCheck® security line.

Global Entry

  • Costs $100 for a 5 year membership
  • Includes all TSA PreCheck® benefits
  • Allows you to avoid the paperwork and long customs lines altogether when re-entering the country. Simply go straight to the Global Entry kiosk, provide your passport and fingerprints to the kiosk, and you are on your way. You don’t even need to speak to a Customs Border Patrol agent.
  • Available at some Canadian and international airports
  • ‘Head of the line’ privilege is available at U.S. airports that have Global Entry kiosks

Either of these programs are great options for frequent travelers. If you plan to travel internationally like me, Global Entry is the right option for you. The additional $15 is worth even a single trip abroad and custom line when re-entering the states. 

Both programs require you go through a similar screening process but it helps that membership is good for 5 years. Expect to fill out an online application to be followed by a brief in-person interview. It’s possible that you don’t have to complete another in-person interview upon renewal, making the process easier as time goes on.

Which are you leaning towards after reading the breakdown of both?

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Comments

Since I’ve pretty much done little-to-no traveling in my life, I’ve never really looked into any of this. The most flying I ever did was from VA to FL when I was long-distance with my husband in the first year of our relationship. But I’ve never been out of the country or anything. If I ever begin traveling regularly, you can guarantee that I’ll be checking out one of these options!

I’ve had TSA pre-check for years since I travel for work and it is SO worth it! I don’t travel internationally much but for those who do, I would highly recommend Global Entry. Airports can be such a pain and anything that makes the process easier is a win in my book!