American airports: how to get through lines faster?

It is always painful to wait in a long line in airports, and there is not just one! There are lines to check in, lines for security, lines for passport control, lines for your luggage and even outside the airport, you may bump into lines for taxis or buses. It is possible to get into shorter lines! Yes, you can with programs such as TSA PayCheck, Global Entry, Clear and Mobile Passport. How? Here are the answers!

TSA PreCheck

You’ve got to know that you can skip lines or get into a shorter line if you subscribe to some special programs like the TSA PreCheck. This program run by the Transportation Security Administration makes travelers benefit from a shorter security line and simplified checking. You can leave your laptop and liquids in your bag, your shoes on your feet, your belt on your pants, your jacket and other clothing items on you. You can profit from these advantages with more than 70 airlines and at more than 2000 American airports. Of course, you have to pay ($85 for five years), but you also have to be approved after completing an online form and passing a 10-minute interview with a TSA official. You will go through fingerprinting, photographing and background checking.

Global Entry

Just like the TSA PreCheck program, Global entry gives about the same advantages, plus a faster passport control. You skip the long line and instead answer to a few questions at a computer kiosk. As it is a program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, a Customs and Border Protection agent checks your identity and destination. The process includes also an online form and an interview with a CBP agent. You can apply if you are a national of these countries: United States, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Colombia, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea (members of Smart Entry Service). The fee costs $100 and for $15 more, you can get the TSA PreCheck.


CLEAR is another program that will allow you to skip lines by directing you to a kiosk. This time the kiosk verifies your identity by checking your fingerprints and your eyeballs. The private company that initiated this program uses an advanced technology that is SAFETY Act Certified from the Department of Homeland Security. Now, these CLEAR kiosks are available in more than 60 airports in the U.S., as well as sports and event stadiums. The matter is it costs $179 per year and you still need TSA PreCheck or Global Entry on top of that to make it really interesting.

About the Author