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This Memorial Day Weekend, the skies saw an influx of travelers in masses that hadn’t been seen since the early 2000s. So, if you were traveling and felt like things — from security lines to lounges — were a bit more crowded than usual, you probably weren’t imagining it.
In fact, according to a TSA spokeswoman, on Friday, May 26, the TSA screened more than 2.5 million passengers and crew, making it the busiest day at TSA checkpoints since 2005.
FACT: On Friday, May 26, @TSA screened 2,530,405 passengers and crew-the busiest day at TSA checkpoints since 2005.
— TSAmedia_LisaF (@TSAmedia_LisaF) May 30, 2017
But, while news of crowded TSA security lanes might make you anxious as you think about how unacceptably long lines were last summer, there is some good news. When TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig was traveling on that exact day from Newark (EWR) to Austin (AUS), he zipped through the record-long checkpoint lines in less than two minutes thanks to his TSA PreCheck.
My PreCheck line at Newark… vs. other. Made it through in 2 min on a holiday weekend 😛 pic.twitter.com/wrZhUnQZfA
— Zach Honig (@ZachHonig) May 26, 2017
This scenario (and others that likely happen on a daily basis) is a great reminder of the value in having PreCheck. The access to an expedited security lane and one where you don’t have to take off your shoes, take out your laptop, liquids and more is a great way to save you the stress of not knowing how long it’ll take to get through the “regular” line.
As a reminder, TSA PreCheck (and Global Entry) are very easy to get for free. A number of credit cards offer a fee credit for PreCheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100). Global Entry comes with TSA PreCheck access, so that’s the most logical if you have a fee credit from a credit card, as you’ll have access to both services. Cards that comes with the fee credit include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express, Citi Prestige, among others. Even if you travel only a couple of times a year, PreCheck access is worth the cost in order to avoid long lines — especially if you can get it for free.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards