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Streamline Your Next Flight

Ditch Airport Lines


Published on January 26th, 2023 in Travel Tips

Here are three programs that help you ditch the long lines at airports. Enrolling in Trusted Traveler programs can drastically cut your wait times. Here’s an outline of your choices:

  • TSA PreCheck®: Want to skip removing your light jacket, shoes, and belt, and keep your 3-1-1 liquids and laptop in your bag? Then PreCheck is for you. Speed through screening lanes at more than 200 airports and with 85 airlines. Children 12 and under can go through PreCheck with a member parent or guardian.
  • Global Entry: Gives you expedited access in foreign countries, with no paperwork hassles, and includes PreCheck.
  • CLEAR: While the previous two programs are government-operated, CLEAR is a private membership. CLEAR speeds up the document/screening process by using biometrics to recognize your physical characteristics, while PreCheck and Global Entry expedite security screenings.

PreCheck and Global Entry last five years, while CLEAR is good for one year. Here’s a comparison so you can choose the program that’s right for you.

Be In the Know
You’ll also want to download the apps for the airports and airlines you’ll be using to find your gates quickly and get important updates. The MyTSA app is great for showing wait times and reminders of what you can (and can’t bring) on your flights. If you’re traveling internationally, you can download the Mobile Passport Control (Customs) app and fill it out ahead of time, making it easier to go through checkpoints at MPC approved sites.

Flight Delayed?
See if you have access to airport lounges to wait for your flight in comfort.

  • Many credit cards offer lounge access as a perk of having the card. The AMEX Platinum Card, Capital One Venture X, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve cards all include access to lounges (check the terms and conditions for details).
  • Consider a Priority Pass membership, which gives you access to a network of more than 1,300 lounges. Fees vary based on the number of times you’d like to access a lounge. Some credit cards even provide complimentary Priority Pass access!
  • Access an airline lounge network, like Admirals Club, Sky Club, United Club, etc. which are accessible to airline elite members or people with higher levels of the airline’s credit card

Ask for Help When Necessary
If you’ll need wheelchair or (in large airports) cart assistance, request it from your airline right after booking your flight, and arrive at the airport earlier than usual. Here are a few more tips on this type of assistance.

References:
cnn.com. Read more at: https://www.cnn.com/cnn-underscored/travel/how-to-access-airport-lounges

A Knowledgeable Traveler is a Happy Traveler
A Knowledgeable Traveler is a Happy Traveler

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