No one likes an inordinate amount of wait time at the airport. Instead, every traveler would – please pardon the pun – like to “fly” through the check-in and TSA processes. Generally, as the best corporate travel agencies will tell you, the airlines do a good job – much of the time – facilitating their part of the process.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), however, has a far more difficult job when it comes to processing travelers – namely securing their safety. It takes a lot of time and effort to do so on the part of both the traveler and the TSA.
Still, this much maligned – unfairly, we think – government agency does offer several options on how best to cut down on your wait time while making your way through airport security. Here is a quick breakdown on the most notable ones – the best travel management companies swear by them:
- PRECHECK – This program allows qualified travelers to avail themselves of airport security lanes with lighter screening and shorter wait times. To begin, you will be required to provide some personal information but once you are vetted, you will be issued a trusted traveler number. Ensure that this number is always included on your airline itinerary. At the airport, you will not have to remove your belt or shoes and you don’t have to take out your liquids and gels out of your carry-on for security screening. In addition, children twelve and under can also use the PRECHECK lane as long as they are traveling with a parent or guardian whose boarding pass carries the PRECHECK indicator.
- GLOBAL ENTRY – Similarly, this program administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency provides expedited entry through the TSA security lanes at airports. GLOBAL ENTRY includes all the benefits of PRECHECK but also includes expedited customs screening for international travelers. Through the use of designated self-service kiosks, GLOBAL ENTRY members can completely eliminate the need to wait in custom’s inspection lines. Also included in the program is expedited processing at Mexico and Canada border crossings. One caveat, unlike PRECHECK, children of all ages need their own Global Entry status to use the expedited customs screening process.
- CLEAR – Though only available in about three dozen major cities, a membership in this program provides access to the user with just a press of their finger or the blink of an eye. Kiosks located in airports allow the user to simply provide their fingerprint or a retina scan to gain access to expedited security lanes.
- SENTRI and NEXUS – These two programs are ideal for the frequent traveler to Mexico and Canada respectively. Each allows access to expedited lanes for both foot and vehicle entry. In addition, Nexus allows the use of designated kiosks when arriving by air or sea into a Canadian airport or marine facility.
For more information on these trusted traveler tools and other ways to make your corporate travel easier, please contact us at GTI Travel. Find us online at GTItravel.com or you can reach one of our business travel agents directly with any questions at 800.223.3863.