This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.