Getting There BETTER | The #1 Best Way to Improve Your Trip Through the Airport
You love the idea of travel — fabulous vacations, visits to the grandparents, a mid-winter business trip to warm climates — but travel kind of sucks, right? Brutal lines. Checked bag fees. TSA “special” pat downs. Middle seats in the way back. Expensive, inflexible tickets. Hotel rooms with views of the parking lot. Torture. But, really, it doesn’t have to. There are a few, genuinely simple things you can do to make it much, much better. So follow along and get there better.
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The #1 Best Way to Improve Your Trip Through the Airport

You’ve seen the pictures, watched the videos or you may have suffered the pain yourself — the TSA lines are atrocious right now but even on their best days are a bit of a crapshoot. In March, 7,000 American Airlines passengers mixed their flights because of TSA line delays and as summer arrives, it’s only getting worse. Regular reports aIMG_0423re coming in at 90+ minutes. You can check your airport here, but keep in mind that the highest number TSA themselves post is 30+ — not exactly a true repres
entation of what’s happening.

Eliminate the unpredictability. You’ll see this consistent theme in my approach to travel and for this unavoidable item, there’s an easy way to do it. TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry.

The picture above was taken this week at DFW. With Pre-Check, I was through security in 8 minutes. Yes, you have to pay but for $17 a year, isn’t your sanity worth it?

TSA Pre-Check is $85 for 5 years and requires an online application and scheduling a quiIMG_0678ck interview. Interview locations are at all airports but also scattered around most cities.

In addition to short lines, Pre-Check lets you keep your shoes on, your laptop in the bag, and go through the much more preferable metal detector instead of the other silly, false-positive “arms
up” machine. Pre-check applies to US-based travel only.

Global Entry is $100 for 5 years and also requires a klugy online application and scheduling of an interview. Interview locations are at international airports and a few CPB locations.  As a
heads up, Global Entry may/will reject you if you’ve ever had a significant legal or immigration/customs charge, DWIs included.

Global Entry is first and foremost about getting you through immigration quickly when you’re coming back into the US from overseas. It’s a risk-based system that essentially lets you skip the line and interact with a kiosk instead. This is just awesome when you land at MIA at the same time as 3 other planes or you’re exhausted coming into Dulles and the 1,200 passengers that spilled out from the European 747s that just landed are all queued up.

But Global Entry has another critical benefit — it also gets you Pre-Check. So you can think of it as a 2-in-1 option – if you travel overseas at all, the extra $15 can really be worth it.

Some companies are starting to reimburse for Pre-Check and if you have an American Express Gold card, American Express Platinum card or a Citi Prestige card, they’ll all reimburse you up to $100 as well.

Is Sydney on your “someday!” list of places you want to visit? For years, tickets down under have been super expensive but since several airlines recently added new routes to both Australia and New Zealand, prices have really come down this year. Hooray for competition! Right now, Delta and United are having a far war for trips in October and November — check it out here!

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