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I LOVE traveling with family and friends. I love using “insider secrets” to help them enjoy themselves. Like using credit card perks to gain access to fancy airport lounges, where you can drink free alcohol. Or using points to stay at a super fancy hotel WAY above our price range.
I also like arriving at the airport security checkpoint and parting ways with them as I go through the exclusive (and MUCH speedier) TSA PreCheck lane. Once on the other side, I leisurely order a meal from the nearest restaurant, and I’m finishing up by the time my travel buddies exit security.
TSA PreCheck is a trusted traveler program designed to help folks spend less time at security checkpoints. With a membership, you can pass through security without taking off your shoes, belt, or light jacket. You also won’t need to remove your laptop and liquids from your bag!
I beg people to enroll (several credit cards reimburse you for the $85 price tag) because it’s such a substantial time saver, but nobody listens.
However, some folks that travel with me (MOM) receive TSA PreCheck literally 90% of the time, without signing-up or paying a fee or anything! And while I’m delighted my mom often receives this benefit to save her a bit of hassle, it upsets me that I’ve invested in something that other folks receive with absolutely no effort. It makes me wonder how many people in the TSA PreCheck lane didn’t pay for the privilege.
Thankfully, the PreCheck Act of 2018 has just been approved by the House of Representatives. This new bill demands that ONLY members of a trusted traveler program can use the TSA PreCheck lanes. It also adds that TSA should develop additional security lanes for travelers they classify as “low-risk.”
The bill is now headed to the Senate for approval. There’s no telling when it will be scheduled for review.
The TSA has made previous claims that folks not enrolled in TSA PreCheck would not be allowed through a PreCheck lane. Hopefully this proposal is the real deal. I’ll make sure to take mom to an enrollment location and use one of my cards to offset the application fee.
Get TSA PreCheck for Free
TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a 5-year membership. But there are plenty of ways to get it for free!
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- United Explorer Card
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Do you or does anyone you know frequently receive TSA PreCheck without a membership? It cheeses me off, man!