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TSA PreCheck is arguably worth it even without the price drop.
As a growing number of travelers head back to airports, those shorter TSA PreCheck security lines are sounding pretty good right about now.
Since this past June, the number of passengers traveling through the country’s airports has been topping 2 million per day again for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. As the number of fliers starts to approach prepandemic levels, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hopes to help encourage enrollment in the TSA PreCheck program with a lower online renewal fee.
As of October 1, the cost to renew your TSA PreCheck membership online is $70, down from $85. The lower price only applies to online renewals; if you’re renewing in person or signing up for the expedited security screening program for the first time, PreCheck still costs $85. (The agency has reported that most people renew online anyway.)
At either price, many frequent fliers will attest that the five-year membership is worth its weight in gold. In September 2021, 96 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited fewer than five minutes—yes, five—to get through airport security. For anyone who has ever stood sweating and stressing in a longer line (we have all been there), the condensed wait time seems priceless.
Indeed, the agency’s fast-pass program gives its members access to shorter and quicker security lanes, where pre-screened travelers are not required to remove their shoes, belts, or light jackets or take their laptops and 3.4-ounce liquid containers out of their bags and backpacks (another major perk). Additionally, parents and guardians with TSA PreCheck membership can bring kids 12 and under through the TSA PreCheck lanes with them—a family-travel lifesaver.
Travelers who would like to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program can do so online or in person. They will then need to complete an in-person interview and provide fingerprints at an enrollment center, and once approved (following a background check), they will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that confirms their TSA PreCheck status. Travelers can add the KTN when booking a flight, which will give them access to the TSA PreCheck lanes at more than 200 domestic and international airports throughout the United States.
When renewing TSA PreCheck enrollment, travelers may or may not be asked to conduct another interview—TSA will inform applicants if an interview is required for their renewal.
TSA’s Global Entry program, which expedites re-entry into the United States by clear travelers through customs faster and includes automatic enrollment in the PreCheck program, remains $100 for a five-year membership.
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