Monday, May 7, 2018

TSA Pre-Check Interview

About a month ago, my daughter an I arrived at the New Orleans airport three hours early for our flight. She had automatically gotten TSA Pre-Check status, probably because she's a minor. I, however, did not get the same courtesy, so, we had to wade through the security line with the rest of the plebs. The line was so long that we almost missed our flight. Never again.

I signed up for TSA Pre-Check. The program allows you to skip the line and go through an expedited security line instead. Most TSA PreCheck members go through their line in about 5 minutes. The first thing you do is sign up via the TSA PreCheck website. Once you submit your application, you pick a time and location to go in for an "interview". You pick an airport or some other TSA office to go to and then set a date. You have to bring a valid TSA compliant ID and $85.

Today, I had my interview. I had prepared for something at least a little intense. I figured I'd be asked about my parents, grand-parents and any criminal history. Nope. They just took my money, scanned my ID and finger-printed me. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes, 5 of which was me bantering with the TSA agent. Now, my info goes to the TSA for approval and, hopefully, within a week, I get my status.

Honestly, this all seems kind of scammy to me. You have to pay $85 for the privilege of the TSA running a background check on you? Is it worth it just to get through the security line quicker? Yes, yes, yes and MORE yes. I hear that I might not even have to take off my shoes.

EDIT: Not even one week later, I was notified via e-mail that I have been approved for TSA PreCheck and have received my Known Traveler Number (KTN). The next step is to input that number into my accounts with various airlines so that, the next time I fly, my ticket will indicate that I can skip the pleb line.

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