If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been a Global Entry member since late 2010. Global Entry means that when I fly into the US on an international flight, I can skip the main immigration queues, go directly to a machine, have my picture taken, get fingerprinted, and leave. Global Entry is particularly awesome if you are just carrying on luggage, because you really can just LEAVE — unless you get stopped by customs. Yey. Note this process has slowed down a bit lately because of all the new members who can’t find their face when they get their picture taken. (Let me warn you about customs though..I’ve had my bags emptied out on multiple occasions now. I must seem very suspicious or something.)
As a Global Entry member, a year or so ago, they gave me access to TSA pre-check. Now when I fly domestically, I go to a special queue, hand them my boarding pass, and go through a special fast lane. I don’t have to take my shoes off, my laptop out, or take off my jacket. That may sound simple, but it’s pretty darn awesome. (However, about one out of ten times by my measurement, I am randomly denied access to the queue. A safety precaution, from what I understand.)
Well, now the rest of you can join me in the domestic fast lane too. Last week, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will add a new process allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA Pre✓™ , the expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes.
The enrollment fee is $85 for a five-year membership. That being said, you can join Global Entry, which includes TSA Pre-check, for $100. So if you ever travel internationally, maybe you just want to do that.
The web site says simply “starting later this year” so stay tuned.