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INSIDER SECRET: It’s easy to get TSA PreCheck for free (one of the biggest keys to upgrading your travel experience) by opening the right card. I’ll show you the most popular ones!
I start every TSA post by saying I don’t believe they’re anything more than security theater.
But until the Department of Homeland Security comes to that realization, they’re here to stay. That’s why TSA PreCheck is such a fantastic investment — it minimizes your time and interaction with the TSA.
Airports are fortunately making huge strides to improve the dreaded security checkpoint. And Atlanta is blazing the trail for US airports with three cutting-edge ideas.
Three Security Checkpoint Improvements Coming Soon – Will TSA PreCheck Still Be Necessary?
Again, these updates are being piloted by Delta in Atlanta only (the international terminal). But with proven success, the new procedures will bleed into other airports.
1. Revolutionary Queues
The TSA is implementing a “dual-tray load feature” when unpacking your belongings onto the conveyor belt. And it’ll eliminate gigantic wait times for those gray bins. Exponentially more travelers can load bins and place them in a sort of holding area.
They’re automatically released at the correct time, so you don’t have to feed them through the scanner yourself. In front of the security lanes will be a light indicating when each lane is open. A green means the space is available.
2. Improved Baggage Scanners
This feature isn’t exactly new. Airports have been working on these for a while.
Improved CT scanners should save a bit of hassle by allowing you to keep your electronics (yes, including your laptop) inside your bag instead of exhausting an extra bin. Fewer bins = faster scanning. And less time packing and unpacking your carry-on.
3. Automated Bin Stacking
This is amazing. After you grab your items from the bin, it will drop into a mechanism that will stack and replenish the bins at the front of the line. And best of all, it’ll scan each bin before it stacks and alert you if you forgot something! I can’t count the times I’ve heard the airport PA system request someone return to the security checkpoint to retrieve a forgotten item.
How to Get TSA PreCheck Credit
These advancements are great, but we still highly recommend TSA PreCheck, even after they’re rolled out to the rest of the US. And there are plenty of credit cards that reimburse you for the $85 fee for enrolling in TSA PreCheck. A few of the most popular are:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- United℠ Explorer Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
These cards each come with a credit (up to $100) that reimburses you for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Global Entry gives you expedited clearance through US customs and immigration. It’s great for overseas flyers because it’s designed to get you through immigration more quickly when you return to the US (it’s saved me hours and hours). And the best part is that a Global Entry membership automatically gives you a TSA PreCheck membership.
You can read Meghan’s post on TSA PreCheck vs Global Entry to figure out if Global Entry is a worthwhile pursuit for you.
Minor process improvements can make a big difference in your journey. Let me know what else you’d change to better the airport experience. And subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets newsletter for tips and tricks to traveling better.