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Old 02-07-2018, 10:46 AM
 
1,353 posts, read 3,204,239 times
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I haven't traveled by plane in 10-12 years - luck enough to live close enough to vacation spot I could drive. Now my niece and her family are on the West Coast and I'm in NC.... not gonna drive that far!!! I know I'm going out in September and for Christmas this year for sure - and would like to make this trip more frequently going forward. thought popped in my head should I get a TSA Pre-Check pass/authorization whatever its called? Is it worth it? Charlotte Douglas airport can be challenging - long lines and SFO goes without saying there will be lines...

thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:58 AM
 
9,819 posts, read 5,020,682 times
Reputation: 33946
I have PreCheck and use it at least once a month. More and more people are getting PreCheck and the lines are getting longer. In some cases, the PreCheck line is longer than the regular line (though it moves faster)

This is going to make me sound like a total B*****, but I don't want more casual travelers in the PreCheck line. It was intended for frequent flyers, and I wish it could stay as such. I would not be opposed if they imposed a minimum number of flights per year in order to maintain your status. (But that'll never happen)

We're not far from it becoming a pointless status.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:26 AM
 
Location: NY/LA
3,364 posts, read 2,835,236 times
Reputation: 2593
Do you have a credit card that reimburses Global Entry or TSA-PreCheck? If so, you might as well.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,096,451 times
Reputation: 1515
I think that it is worth it, but I would suggest getting Global Entry unless you are 100% certain you will not be leaving the country in the next 5 to 6 years.

If you want to make sure that it is worth it, you can wait until you first trip to see what conditions are actually like at the airports you will be using. Also you should make sure that the airline you plan to use participates in the TSA Precheck program.

Also you may want to check if you have a credit card that may reimburse you for the enrollment fee, and if you do have to pay for it yourself, try to time your enrollment to right after your birthday since the 5 year countdown doesn't start until your next birthday so you can get almost 6 years of enrollment in the program.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:51 AM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,672 posts, read 2,995,231 times
Reputation: 12965
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlelou View Post
I haven't traveled by plane in 10-12 years - luck enough to live close enough to vacation spot I could drive. Now my niece and her family are on the West Coast and I'm in NC.... not gonna drive that far!!! I know I'm going out in September and for Christmas this year for sure - and would like to make this trip more frequently going forward. thought popped in my head should I get a TSA Pre-Check pass/authorization whatever its called? Is it worth it? Charlotte Douglas airport can be challenging - long lines and SFO goes without saying there will be lines...

thoughts?
We took an international flight out of SFO last summer/spring, & the security lines were not bad at all. As long as you arrive in time to avoid any last minute panics, you should be OK, Maybe try a flight first & see how it goes.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:00 PM
 
2,601 posts, read 5,296,825 times
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It's worthwhile if it's free and it's useful if you travel frequently. Or if you are congenitally late to the airport.

Global Entry is better but it is more trouble to get, as you need to make an appointment at a location (usually an airport) that may be far away.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:18 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,612 posts, read 39,986,663 times
Reputation: 23754
for infrequent travelers... I would not bother with a std TSA-Pre. Just give yourself 10 extra minutes.

Of the 10 trips through security in the last 2 weeks... I have been able to use the "TSA-Pre" line 4 times (and it was slightly faster 2 of those times) ~ 5 min.

2 times Pre was LONG lines (and std lines were short)
4x Pre was closed (too early or too late) (Tucson had JUST closed Pre (before 5PM), and there were 14 TSA staff and 8 passengers in line. It took 26 minutes to clear security).

I also have 'priority' (frequent flier) so can avoid the std lines, but still need to pull out my laptop and Ipad. (and remove shoes of course, which I have to do in "pre"-anyway (metal arch supports)). "old-People" in Pre are ALWAYS advising me to leave my shoes on... but that will just delay their progress while they wait for me to go through 2x.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:07 PM
 
708 posts, read 778,259 times
Reputation: 1753
I have both Pre-Check and Global Entry, both absolutely worth it to me.

I haven’t traveled over Christmas holidays by plane before, but that would be a time when I definitely would want every advantage for getting through an airport quickly.

Pre-Check alone is $85. I would probably not get GE if I never traveled out of the country, but even with one international trip a year, the extra $15 for 5 years is worth it.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,544 posts, read 7,812,790 times
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I've found it to be a worthwhile expense as we fly 3-7 times a year. I'd recommend that you confirm it's available in the airports you will use and with the airlines you fly most frequently. It's not always available, but availability is growing. Last time I flew out of LaGuardia on SW pre-check was not available (last year).
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:16 PM
 
13,923 posts, read 7,416,674 times
Reputation: 25432
Quote:
Originally Posted by rational1 View Post
Global Entry is better but it is more trouble to get, as you need to make an appointment at a location (usually an airport) that may be far away.
It really depends on how far they are from that airport. In this case, Charlotte-Douglas.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-t...llment-centers

When I did TSA Pre a few years ago, I would have had an hour+ drive and the tolls & parking expense to do Global Entry at Boston/Logan. I could do the TSA Pre photo/fingerprint thing at a suburban strip mall much closer to my house.

What I really want is NEXUS to get to Canada easily but that's even farther for me than Global Entry.
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