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If you have an upcoming trip on Avianca, Emirates, Spirit Airlines, Virgin Atlantic or one of seven smaller carriers, your journey through security may have just gotten quicker and easier. Effective immediately, 11 new airlines have been added to the TSA PreCheck program.
Among the new carriers to join is the United Kingdom’s first TSA PreCheck airline: Virgin Atlantic. True to the brand, Virgin Atlantic announced the new enrollment in a humorous way: “Virgin Atlantic Encourages Customers to Keep Their Clothes On.”
The list of TSA PreCheck participating airlines has been expanding rapidly recently. In early May 2016, just 12 airlines participated in the program. With the addition of these 11 new airlines, there are now 30 carriers working with the Transportation Security Administration to help you speed through security:
Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Aruba Airlines, Avianca, Boutique Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Key Lime Air, Lufthansa, Miami Air International, OneJet, Seaborne Airlines, Southern Airways Express, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Sunwing, United Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, WestJet and Xtra Airways.
PreCheck, Global Entry or NEXUS?
If you haven’t enrolled in TSA PreCheck program, you can do so for $85 for a five-year membership. However, we recommend paying just $15 more and getting Global Entry instead. It’ll get you the same domestic security benefits of the TSA PreCheck program while also allowing you to speed through the US border by using automated kiosks. Plus, a handful of credit cards will reimburse the enrollment cost.
That said, it’s much easier to sign up for TSA PreCheck than Global Entry, as PreCheck offers many convenient airport enrollment centers and doesn’t require a sometimes-lengthy interview scheduling process. But, if you’re tempted to get TSA PreCheck first, remember that you won’t be able to “upgrade” to Global Entry — without starting the process from scratch.
For those living near the Canadian border, there’s an even better option: NEXUS costs just $50 and will also get you a Known Traveler Number granting you TSA PreCheck privileges.
No matter the program that you use to get a Trusted Traveler Number, make sure to take the final step of adding your Known Traveler Number to your flight reservation. Otherwise, the whole enrollment process will have been for naught!
For those of us enrolled in TSA PreCheck, it’s great to see more airlines added to the program. Once you’re used to flying through security — almost always in under five minutes — it’s hard to go back to standard TSA security when flying on non-participating airlines.
Featured image courtesy of Joe Raedle of Getty Images.
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