Comparing Trusted Travel Programs to help you speed through airport security lines

Comparing Trusted Travel Programs to help you speed through airport security lines

Security lines are a pain point even for the most experienced travelers out there, something we would all avoid going through if it was possible.
Good news: it is!

To help you speed through, and to make the best decision based on your travel needs, we have compared the most common U.S. Trusted Travel Programs, including CLEAR for you. These programs provide modified screening for pre-approved members, and improve security by being more efficient during screenings.

According to the official U.S. Department of Homeland Security (dhs) website, the Trusted Traveler Programs are risk-based programs to facilitate the entry of pre-approved travelers. All applicants are vetted to ensure they meet the qualifications for the program to which they are applying. Receiving a “Best Match” or program recommendation based on eligibility or travel habits does not guarantee acceptance into any Trusted Traveler Program. We hope that with comparison you will be not only more knowledgeable about them all, but also that you will feel more comfortable choosing the one that best fits your needs.

TSA Pre✓®

How does it work?
It saves time and reduces stress. By enrolling in this program, travelers have no need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets, and benefit from expedited security screening (where most travelers get through Security in 5 minutes or less).

How much does it cost?
$85 for five years

How do I get it?
1. Apply Online: Submit the online application in 5 minutes or less and schedule an appointment at any of 380+ enrollment centers
2. Enroll: Attend your in-person appointment to provide fingerprints, supply citizenship and ID documents, and pay $85. Find an enrollment center near you.
3. Enjoy TSA Pre✓®: Once approved, add your Known Traveler Number to your airline reservations and enjoy your membership for 5 years. See list of participating airlines.

Do children need to sign up?
Children under 12 do not need to sign up for TSA Pre✓®; however, may accompany a parent/guardian with TSA Pre✓® in the designated lanes.

Where is it available?
Enjoy benefits at more than 200 airports within the U.S on over 60 participating airlines. Check out the latest map of every TSA Pre✓® location.

Global Entry

How does it work?
Global Entry is the international version of TSA Pre✓®. If you are approved for Global Entry, TSA Pre✓® benefits will be included. When you return from an international vacation, Global Entry members can skip the traditional customs declaration lines and head for the self-serve kiosks. Simply insert your passport, scan your fingers, take a picture and answer a few questions. Then, you’ll be on your way to collect your bags.

How much does it cost?
$100 for five years

How do I get it?
Global Entry membership requires a more thorough screening than TSA Pre✓® so there are fewer locations to perform your interview.
1. Apply Online: Submit the online application.
2. Enroll: Schedule & attend your in-person appointment. Find an enrollment center near you. 
3. Membership: Once accepted, your membership will last for 5 years.

Do children need to sign up?
Every person needs to sign up for Global Entry, regardless of their age.

Where is it available?
Global Entry program members can use Global Entry Customs Kiosks at more than 75 airports when returning to the U.S. from travel abroad. Additionally, 14 countries have reciprocal agreements with Global Entry to access their expedited security programs.

NEXUS

How does it work?
If you regularly cross the US-Canada border, consider applying for a NEXUS card. The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports. NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

How much does it cost?
$50 for five years

How do I get it?
1. Apply Online: Submit the online application.
2. Enroll: Schedule & attend your in-person appointment. Find an enrollment center near you. 
3. Membership: Once accepted, your membership will last for 5 years.

Do children need to sign up?
Every member of the traveling party will need their own membership in order to use the designated entry lanes.

Where is it available? Nexus lanes are available on US-Canada borders (click here for locations and time information) and Global Entry benefits apply to wherever the program is available (as mentioned above).

CLEAR

How does it work?
While TSA Pre✓®, Global Entry, and NEXUS are government-run programs, CLEAR is a private company that is certified by the Department of Homeland Security. This is an additional service that can work in coordination with TSA Pre✓® and Global Entry. You don’t need to have either of those programs to be a member; however, CLEAR does not provide all the benefits of the Trusted Programs by itself. Although travelers who sign up for this program will have access to expedited security lines, this will not prevent them from being regularly scanned.

How much does it cost?
$179 per year
Up to three family members can be added for only $50 each.

How do I do to get it?
You can register for CLEAR online or at the airport. The CLEAR representatives will verify your identification and scan your biometrics (fingerprints and irises).
The registration process takes just a few minutes and does not require an appointment.

Do children need to sign up?
Children under 18 can use CLEAR for free when they are accompanied by an adult who is a CLEAR member without the need to add them to the membership.

Where is it available?
CLEAR is available at more than 50 airports, stadiums and venues across the country. After signing up, CLEAR also allows members to skip the lines at some sporting events and concerts, depending on the venue.
In Seattle, CLEAR is currently present in 3 locations (Sea-Tac International Airport, T-Mobile Field, and Century Link Field), as it is in San Francisco (SFO International Airport, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and Oracle Park). Check here for all US locations.
Delta Air Lines has a partnership with CLEAR where elite members can receive a discount – Diamond Medallion members receive their CLEAR membership for free.
United Airlines is offering a free or discounted CLEAR membership to its loyalty program members. United Global Services, and 1K Premier members will be able to qualify for a free Clear membership through the new program. The airline’s Premier Platinum, Gold, and Silver MileagePlus members, qualify for a discounted membership for $109 per year, and all other MileagePlus members can sign up for $119 annually.

Note from the DHS: The extended partial government shutdown has resulted in a substantial backlog of CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) applications and renewals. Applicants for Global Entry (GE), SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST should expect significant delays in application processing times and limited appointment availability at TTP enrolment centers. Conditionally approved GE members should seek to complete their GE interviews without an appointment upon arrival from an international flight at any of the 49 airports participating in CBP’s Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) program.

Before committing to one of the travel programs, use the tool on the Trusted Traveler Programs page to find your “Best Match” (without CLEAR).

After that, contact us at Tangerine Travel to assist you getting things done, and updating your traveler profile with this information, so it can be automatically included in your reservations going forward.

(425) 354-6937 | (425) 354-6962

Sources: ttp.dhs.gov, “Trusted Traveler Programs”
clearme.com