Category: Travel hacks & tips
Author: Michael DeFranceschi • Updated November 19, 2023

TSA Precheck Vs Global Entry: Which Is Better?

Many travel bloggers will say Global Entry. I disagree. Here is why...
A woman is seen placing her luggage on a conveyor belt at the airport. At one point, she asked, 'TSA Precheck vs Global Entry-- What Are the Differences?'

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The most common reason why people claim Global Entry is better than TSA PreCheck® is because Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck®. This is true.

Furthermore, Global Entry and TSA PreCheck® both last up to five years and Global Entry only costs an additional $22 more than TSA PreCheck®.

That being said, you can use TSA PreCheck® in 49 states and at over 200 airports whereas Global Entry is only usable in 15 countries.

Also, if you only fly within the United States, there is absolutely no point for you to get Global Entry.

TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry are two federal 'trusted traveler programs'. After passing a background check and acquiring a known traveler number, you are deemed to not be a flight risk, and thus, will usually be subjected to much faster and far less intrusive screening at airport security.

As I've enthusiastically stated before in my article on how to get free flights for any airline, I absolutely love flying and I am ecstatic whenever I'm in an airport. One huge alleviator of stress at the airport was learning about and acquiring these two programs.

I'm taking the stance that TSA PreCheck® is better than Global Entry. To illustrate my point, I'm going to provide you a robust breakdown of both programs. You can compare the facts and decide for yourself.

I will delve into what both programs do, their cost, where they work, how to sign up, and how to renew them.

In fact, because trusted traveler programs is a topic I love to tell people about, I'm also going to include information on other such programs, such as Privium, NEXUS, CLEAR, and CLEAR Reserve.

IN THIS ARTICLE...
PEOPLE ALSO ASK...

TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry: Which Is Better?

For the first half of our article addressing TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry, we'll direct our attention over to TSA PreCheck®.

What does TSA PreCheck do?

TSA PreCheck® is a federal program run by the U.S Transportation Security Administration (hence, TSA) designed to minimize the time you wait at a security checkpoint in the airport. It is open only to U.S citizens, U.S nationals, and lawful permanent residents.

To harness the privilege of clearing airport security in such short spans of time, you will first have to pay a non-refundable application fee and fill out an application. You will then have to physically go in person to an enrollment center for the TSA to run a background check on you.

Following approval and the receipt of a known identification number, you will provide this number each time you book an airline ticket. Any boarding pass you have going forward will have a badge on them indicating you are in the program.

To avoid having to manually enter your known traveler number every time you book a flight, you should join your favorite airline's frequent flier program and download their app. In the app, enter the known traveler number only once and any future boarding pass will automatically have the TSA PreCheck® badge on it.

When it's time to go through security, you will now go to lines designated for those with TSA PreCheck®. If you accidentally wind up in a normal security line, having TSA PreCheck® will not grant you any special privileges (this happened to me once!), so be sure you go to the correct line!

At the security checkpoint, you will be able to keep your shoes on, keep laptops in their bag, and not have to remove light jackets.

As less people will be enrolled in this program, the lines will be significantly shorter. You will still, of course, have to scan your luggage and walk through a metal detector, but the process will be far quicker. In many instances, you will be done in as little as 60 seconds.

I think TSA PreCheck® comes in handy even further for those fliers with connecting flights. In some cases, due to the location of the gates, you may have to go through airport security again when you land in your connecting city.

One thing that TSA PreCheck® does not do is serve as a substitute for ID. Just because the TSA believes you're not a flight risk does not mean you can board a plane without proper identification. For most U.S travelers, this will mean having to show your driver's license or state ID.

However, TSA PreCheck® members can bypass having to show a physical form of ID if they also have a CLEAR membership.

Last, if you are enrolled in TSA PreCheck® and are traveling with children under 12, each child will vicariously receive the benefits of the program.

TSA Precheck cost

The only reason money should stop you from applying for TSA PreCheck is if you're legitmately concerned you will not pass the background check. After all, the fee is non-refundable. If you have anything of a criminal record, your chances are likely going to be slim you can get it.

The cost of TSA PreCheck® when you first apply is $78. Is that... per month? Per year? No-- more like, every five years.

There are 60 months in five years. 78 divided by 60 yields 1.3, which effectively means that TSA PreCheck® will only cost you $1.30 per month.

Very affordable!

Which airports have TSA PreCheck?

Given that TSA PreCheck® is available at over 256 airports in the United States, there is a slim chance an airport you fly out of would not have it. But, that being said, I have compiled a list of every single airport in the country where you can use TSA PreCheck ®.

The list below is separated by state, where the states are listed in alphabetical order. The airports in those states will also be listed in alphabetical order by their three-lettered airport code. You're welcome.

Due to the length of the list, if you want to skip down to the next section about the application, you can do so by clicking here.

ALABAMA

  • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)
  • Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
  • Mobile Regional Airport (MOB)
  • Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM)
  • Northwest Alabama Regional Airport (MSL)

ALASKA

  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
  • Fairbanks International Airport (FAI)

ARIZONA

  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Tucson International Airport (TUS)

ARKANSAS

  • Fort Smith Regional Airport (FSM)
  • Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR)
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT)
  • Texarkana Regional Airport (TXK)
  • Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA)

CALIFORNIA

  • Arcata-Eureka Airport (ACV)
  • Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)
  • Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Long Beach Airport (LGB)
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  • Ontario International Airport (ONT)
  • Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
  • Redding Municipal Airport (RDD)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  • John Wayne Airport (SNA)
  • Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS)

COLORADO

  • San Luis Valley Regional Airport (ALS)
  • Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE)
  • Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ)
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
  • Denver International Airport (DEN)
  • Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO)
  • Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE)
  • Northern Colorado Regional Airport (FNL)
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT)
  • Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC)
  • Yampa Valley Regional Airport (HDN)
  • Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ)
  • Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB)

CONNECTICUT

  • Bradley International Airport (BDL)
  • Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN)

DELAWARE

  • (none)

FLORIDA

  • Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)
  • Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)
  • Key West International Airport (EYW)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV)
  • Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB)
  • Miami Seaplane Base (MPB)
  • Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
  • Punta Gorda Airport (PGD)
  • St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)
  • Pensacola International Airport (PNS)
  • Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
  • Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Northeast Florida Regional Airport (SGJ)
  • Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)
  • Tallahassee International Airport (TLH)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)
  • Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS)
  • Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB)

GEORGIA

  • Augusta Regional Airport (AGS)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)

HAWAII

  • Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • Hilo International Airport (ITO)
  • Kona International Airport (KOA)
  • Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Kahului Airport (OGG)

IDAHO

  • Boise Airport (BOI)

ILLINOIS

  • MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV)
  • Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI)
  • University of Illinois Willard Airport (CMI)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Quad City International Airport (MLI)
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA)
  • Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD)

INDIANA

  • Evansville Regional Airport (EVV)
  • Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • South Bend International Airport (SBN)

IOWA

  • Southeast Iowa Regional Airport (BRL)
  • The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)
  • Des Moines International Airport (DSM)

KANSAS

  • Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT)

KENTUCKY

  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
  • Blue Grass Airport (LEX)
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF)

LOUISIANA

  • Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR)
  • Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV)

MAINE

  • Portland International Jetport (PWM)

MARYLAND / WASHINGTON D.C

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

MICHIGAN

  • Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Bishop International Airport (FNT)
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
  • Capital Region International Airport (LAN)
  • MBS International Airport (MBS)
  • Cherry Capital Airport (TVC)

MINNESOTA

  • Bemidji Regional Airport (BJI)
  • Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD)
  • Duluth International Airport (DLH)
  • Falls International Airport (INL)
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Rochester International Airport (RST)
  • Thief River Falls Regional Airport (TVF)

MISSISSIPPI

  • Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT)
  • Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR)
  • Evers International Airport (JAN)
  • Jackson-Medgar Wiley Meridian Regional Airport (MEI)
  • Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport (PIB)

MISSOURI

  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  • Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF)
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)

MONTANA

  • Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)
  • Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)
  • Glacier Park International Airport (GPI)
  • Missoula International Airport (MSO)

NEBRASKA

  • Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA)

NEVADA

  • Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT)

NEW JERSEY

  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

NEW MEXICO

  • Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ)
  • Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF)

NEW YORK

  • Albany International Airport (ALB)
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
  • Westchester County Airport (HPN)
  • Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)
  • Stewart International Airport (SWF)
  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR)

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)
  • Wilmington International Airport (ILM)
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS)
  • Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport (DIK)
  • Devils Lake Regional Airport (DVL)
  • Hector International Airport (FAR)
  • Grand Forks International Airport (GFK)
  • Sloulin Field International Airport (ISN)
  • Jamestown Regional Airport (JMS)
  • Minot International Airport (MOT)
  • Williston Basin International Airport (XWA)

OHIO

  • Akron-Canton Airport (CAK)
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
  • Dayton International Airport (DAY)
  • Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK)

OKLAHOMA

  • Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (LAW)
  • Will Rogers World Airport (OKC)
  • Tulsa International Airport (TUL)

OREGON

  • Eugene Airport (EUG)
  • Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Redmond Municipal Airport-Roberts Field (RDM)

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)
  • Altoona-Blair County Airport (AOO)
  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP)
  • Bradford Regional Airport (BFD)
  • DuBois Regional Airport (DUJ)
  • Erie International Airport (ERI)
  • Williamsport Regional Airport (IPT)
  • Johnstown-Cambria County Airport (JST)
  • Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE)
  • Lancaster Airport (LNS)
  • Harrisburg International Airport (MDT)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • University Park Airport (UNV)

RHODE ISLAND

  • T. F. Green Airport (PVD)

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)
  • Charleston International Airport (CHS)
  • Florence Regional Airport (FLO)
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)
  • Hilton Head Island Airport (HXD)
  • Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Aberdeen Regional Airport (ABR)
  • Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD)
  • Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)

TENNESSEE

  • Nashville International Airport (BNA)
  • Memphis International Airport (MEM)
  • Mckellar-Sipes Regional Airport (MKL)
  • Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI)
  • McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS)

TEXAS

  • Abilene Regional Airport (ABI)
  • Waco Regional Airport (ACT)
  • Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA)
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
  • Jack Brooks Regional Airport (BPT)
  • Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport (BRO)
  • Easterwood Airport (CLL)
  • Corpus Christi International Airport (CRP)
  • Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • El Paso International Airport (ELP)
  • East Texas Regional Airport (GGG)
  • Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK)
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Valley International Airport (HRL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
  • Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF)
  • McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE)
  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • San Angelo Regional Airport (SJT)
  • Wichita Fall Municipal Airport (SPS)
  • Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (TYR)

UTAH

  • Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD)
  • Saint George Regional Airport (SGU)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

VERMONT

  • Burlington International Airport (BTV)

VIRGINIA

  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH)
  • Norfolk International Airport (ORF)
  • Newport News Williamsburg International Airport (PHF)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC)
  • Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA)
  • Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD)

WASHINGTON

  • Spokane International Airport (GEG)
  • Tri-Cities Airport (PSC)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW)
  • North Central West Virginia Airport (CKB)
  • Yeager Airport (CRW)
  • Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW)
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (PKB)

WISCONSIN

  • Appleton International Airport (ATW)
  • Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA)
  • Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (EAU)
  • Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB)
  • La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE)
  • General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • Dane County Regional Airport (MSN)
  • Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (RHI)

WYOMING

  • Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

Alright, that was a lot of typing! Next section...

TSA Precheck application

There are two ways you can apply for TSA PreCheck®: either online or at an enrollment center. Given that you're reading about applying for TSA PreCheck; on a blog, I would advise just applying online.

As mentioned earlier, you will have to pay the $78 fee when you apply and the fee is non-refundable.

When you apply, the name you provide the TSA must exactly match the name you book airline tickets with and the name on your identification documents, such as your driver's license.

Following the submission of the application, you will be given an appointment where you must physically appear at an enrollment center (likely the nearest international airport) to be fingerprinted and show valid identification documents. The appointment will likely be within 2 weeks.

After the in-person appointment, you will wait (in most cases) 3-5 days to receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) via email or telephone. This number is very important so do not misplace it!

Overall, the process from start to finish should take under a month. It's fairly quick to be accepted into the program and begin utilizing it's amazing benefits!

TSA Precheck renewal

It's a huge relief that TSA PreCheck® spans five whole years. When the time comes for you to renew, you again have the choice to renew either online or at an enrollment center.

The renewal fee is $70 if you renew online whereas at an enrollment center, it is $78.

Global Entry benefits

Global Entry is a trusted traveler program for international travelers run by the U.S Customs and Border Protection. The program grants its members expedited clearance upon return to the United States when traveling abroad.

When you're at an airport outside the U.S, instead of going through the normal passport control lines, you will look for a much shorter line designated for Global Entry members. There, you walk up to a Global Entry kiosk and answer some basic questions about your identity and your return to the U.S.

You may be asking, "Wait... what about leaving the United States? Does Global Entry not work for that?"

Great question, because this initially confused me too! This leads us to an immediate benefit of the Global Entry program: it automatically includes TSA PreCheck®! You will use PreCheck® when leaving the U.S and Global Entry for returning to the U.S.

One auxilary benefit and difference to Global Entry is the issuing of a photo ID. Currently, the Global Entry ID can be used at U.S airports as a form of identification instead of a driver's license or state ID* .

The Global Entry ID will also count as a form of Real ID when Real ID becomes mandatory for U.S travelers starting May 7, 2025.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Global Entry photo ID is not a substitute for a passport. When leaving and returning to the U.S, you must have your passport.

* The Global Entry ID can't serve as an alternate to your driver's license nor state ID in other cases, such as registering to vote, as it does not list your address.

Global Entry cost

The cost of Global Entry is a $100 non-refundable fee. This $100 stretches over the course of five years. Since there are 60 months in five years, this means that Global Entry will effectively cost you only about $1.67 per month.

One additional cost you'll have to factor in with Global Entry is the cost of a passport. The cost of a passport is $130 and that $130 spans up to 10 years if you are age 16 and older, meaning that the passport effectively only costs you $1.08 per month.

Adding the monthly cost of Global Entry and a passport together is $2.75.

Where is Global Entry accepted?

Not every airport around the world accepts Global Entry. In fact, despite the word 'global' being in the name, its scope is limited to a few countries in South America, Asia, and two countries in Europe.

Below is the list of the 15 countries where Global Entry is accepted:

  • Argentina
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • India
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Republic of Korea
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom

For traveling to the Netherlands, Global Entry members can also apply for Privium. Privium speeds up the customs process even quicker. It costs €170 which, at the November 2023 exchange rate, is $185.60.

Global Entry application

You can only complete the Global Entry application online .

Be sure to provide names exactly as they appear on your identification documents and that all information provided is factually correct.

When applying, you must pay a non-refundable fee of $100.

Once you complete the application online, you will receive notice whether you are conditionally approved or rejected.

If you are conditionally approved, you will then have to make an appointment a Global Entry enrollment center to show your passport and one other form of identification. A picture will be taken and you will be fingerprinted.

There are only 116 enrollment centers for Global Entry. Use this link to find the one nearest you!

The last part of the application process is the interview. In rarer instances, the interview could happen on the same day you show up to be fingerprinted and photographed, but usually, the interview is on a separate day. Wait times for the interview fluctuate. It can potentially be several months later.

Due to the slightly unpredictable timeline, it is best you apply for Global Entry several months before your next international trip!

Following the interview, you could potentially be approved the same day or have to wait a few extra days. When you are approved, you will be issued a PASSID number which can be used for future airline bookings immediately. The membership ID is mailed to you.

Acceptance to the Global Entry program does not means its benefits are automatic. The PASSID must be used for every airline ticket you book moving forward. Thus, it'll save you so much time joining your favorite airline's loyalty program, so you only have to enter this number once!

Children and family members cannot vicariously receive the benefits of someone in their family who has been approved for Global Entry. Everyone in the family must apply and be approved individually.

Global Entry renewal

Since Global Entry lasts up to five years, you won't have to think of renewal for a while. You can start the renewal process online as early as one year before the expiration date.

If your Global Entry membership expires, you can still use receive the benefits of the membership 24 months after the expiration date!

The renewal fee is the same as the application fee: $100, and it is non-refundable.

Comparison between TSA Precheck and Global Entry

Here is where we'll answer for you whether TSA Precheck® or Global Entry is better for you.

First, the benefits. Both programs provide you the same benefit: expedited and less invasive security measures at the airport. But since Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck® and you can use the Global Entry ID as valid ID when flying in the U.S., I will admit Global Entry wins when it comes to benefits.

Second, the cost. Techically, domestic travelers will pay less for TSA PreCheck® than Global Entry since another cost associated with Global Entry is the cost of a passport. TSA PreCheck® wins here.

Third, where you can use the programs. TSA PreCheck® is available for use in 49 states and, for many states, several airports. Global Entry is only usable in 15 countries. Since domestic fliers will have opportunities to use their program more, TSA PreCheck® wins here as well.

Fourth, the time it takes to be approved. TSA PreCheck® takes noticeably less time to be approved than with Global Entry. You could be approved for TSA PreCheck® within the month whereas Global Entry could (possibly) take 2-3 months. So, TSA PreCheck® wins when it comes to approval time.

Last, the duration of both programs. It's a tie: they both last five years.

So, which is better?

TSA PreCheck® is better than Global Entry because of its lower cost, much wider scope of where you can use it, and the much shorter approval time.

What is CLEAR?

CLEAR is technically not one of the trusted traveler programs due to its lack of a background check. However, it functions like one, as one can use CLEAR in conjunction with TSA PreCheck® for the quickest airport security clearing experience.

At the time of this writing, international travelers need not concern themselves with CLEAR, as CLEAR has a small presence in Canada and an even smaller presence in Europe.

Starting on 11/30/2023, CLEAR will use facial recognition technology to verify users' identities as opposed to the previous methods of either fingerprint or retina scanning.

For more information on CLEAR, I wrote an entire article about it.

What is CLEAR Reserve?

CLEAR Reserve allows for a group of up to 10 members who are traveling together to make an appointment with the TSA.

What's great about CLEAR Reserve is that it is free to use and you do not have to be a member of CLEAR to use the service.

However, one drawback to CLEAR Reserve is that it is only available in 8 U.S airports.

What is NEXUS?

Of all the trusted traveler programs, I would say NEXUS is the best.

The purpose of NEXUS is to grant Americans expedited entry to Canada via air, land, and sea (and vice versa).

NEXUS contains Global Entry, which in turn, means NEXUS also contains TSA PreCheck®.

What's even more wild about NEXUS is the price: NEXUS is only $50, meaning it is cheaper than the two trusted traveler programs it contains.

That being said, the huge caveat to NEXUS is its lengthy approval time. It can take over a year to be approved. For more information on NEXUS, I have an article dedicated to this program as well!

Are there times where TSA PreCheck doesn't work?

Yes-- although these moments should be rare! One scenario where you'll still have to go through normal airline security is if you have a really early or really late flight and the lines for TSA PreCheck® are closed. Even if you show the TSA agent that you have PreCheck®, you will still have to go through normal security screening.

In my experience, the lines for TSA PreCheck® usually open an hour or two after the normal airline security lines do. I understand that a big reason you'd want to fly either really late or really early is to maximize the time you have on your trip.

Also, I've had only one encounter where I had to be frisked because I kept setting off the metal detector, for whatever reason. I was quickly asked to step aside and they patted me down. Hey, free massage, I guess, and the frisk took only a few seconds before they let me go. Still, lots of time saved!

Like I said, even with these rare instances, TSA PreCheck® is positively worth it!

Do I need both TSA Precheck and Global Entry?

No-- these programs are technically separate, so it is not necessary to acquire both.

TSA PreCheck® is designed to expedite the security clearing process for U.S travelers flying domestically whereas Global Entry is designed to speed up the passport clearing process for travelers returning to the U.S.

However, members of Global Entry get TSA PreCheck® included automatically, which means many travelers will have both.

Is it easier to get Global Entry if you have TSA Precheck?

No-- approval for Global Entry is not conditional on whether you have TSA PreCheck®.

Can I just show up at the airport for a Global Entry interview

No-- you must have applied online first, be in possession of a valid passport, and have done your initial appointment before an interview for Global Entry can be conducted.

Conclusion

Lots of information given here, huh?

Investing the small duration of time it takes to aquaint yourself with these programs will save you so much time at airport security and customs for potentially decades to come!

Given both programs' affordable costs, I will continue to pay for them even if my ability to travel becomes limited, say, due to health or personal matters. Hopefully neither happen, though!!

Now that you know the details of TSA PreCheck® vs Global Entry, it's time to sign up!


Thank you for reading! Like... seriously. So many people just skim sh*t and don't read anything past the headline. You're one of the good ones!

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