Is it worth it? How much do applications cost?

When looking to fly, travel time isn’t just flight time. There’s the ride to the airport, check-in lines, baggage drop-off lines, customs (if you’re traveling overseas), and the ever-popular Transportation Security Administration line.

Lines are piling up as travelers’ schedules get tighter.

After a summer of flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage and long lines at airports, travelers are looking for ways to make the process easier. TSA PreCheck may not guarantee an on-time flight, but it can save travelers time line.

Here’s what travelers need to know about the TSA PreCheck program.

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What is TSA PreCheck?

TSA PreCheck is a program that provides travelers with expedited security screening at US airports.

Once in the program, travelers are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN) after completing a background check, providing fingerprints and paying a non-refundable fee. TSA PreCheck does not issue ID cards.

Is TSA PreCheck worth it?

It depends on what travelers value. Travelers certainly don’t need it for travel, but those who visit an airport more than twice a year may find it useful.

A TSA spokesperson told USA TODAY that 95% of passengers with PreCheck waited less than five minutes in August.

One of the biggest attractions, however, is the ease offered by the program. Travelers with PreCheck do not need to remove their shoes, belts, light jackets or laptops from their bags when crossing the security line.

Children 12 and under can join their guardian in dedicated preclearance lanes.

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How much does TSA PreCheck cost?

The initial request requires an $85 non-refundable fee. Online renewals require a $70 non-refundable renewal fee.

There is a list of credit cards and loyalty programs that cover application fees as a member benefit or allow travelers to use rewards points to pay for them.

How do I apply for TSA PreCheck?

Travelers can visit tsa.gov/precheck to learn more about the program and get started by clicking this link.

If a traveler completes the form online, they can schedule an appointment at a registration center to complete the process by providing documentation, fingerprints, and payment. Some centers accept walk-ins – but travelers should ensure they have all required documents with them.

What happens in the “interview” for TSA PreCheck?

Not a lot.

Once a traveler has checked in with the required identification documents, an agent will call them for the “interview” where they will be asked to enroll all of their fingerprints. The applicant will also be asked to confirm their address, take a quick photo and pay the application fee.

How long does the TSA PreCheck app last?

If approved, most applicants receive their KTN within 3-5 days of their appointments at the enrollment center, the TSA confirmed. Some applications may take up to 60 days.

When does my TSA PreCheck expire?

TSA PreCheck membership expires after five years.

Travelers will receive renewal notifications as early as 6 months prior to their membership expiration date.

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