The long, winding lines themselves are testament to airport security’s screening increasing and changing processes. While air travel will never return to the shoes-on, stroll through times of the past, there are programs aimed at quickly and efficiently getting you through the lines: Global Entry and TSA Precheck. Deciding which program, if either or both, is the ideal fit for you depends a great deal on your particular travel habits.
An Overview: Global Entry vs. TSA Precheck
Global Entry is a program geared toward the international traveler and run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Services. Travelers in the Global Entry program bypass customs officials using kiosks that electronically read their pertinent data including passports, fingerprints and customs declarations.
Advantage: Global Entry gives international travelers the advantage in the passport and custom line.
TSA Precheck offers an expedited entry through the security process of participating airports throughout the United States. Participating travelers are carefully vetted, pre-approved passengers who are deemed low risk threats to the transportation system.
TSA Precheck passengers still need to present identification and boarding passes to get on flights. However, you are spared from removing shoes, belts, light jackets, laptops and 3-1-1 items.
Advantage: TSA Precheck allows domestic flyers to pass through shorter, designated Precheck lanes.
Global Entry passengers are automatically qualified to access TSA Precheck perks. Global Entry lets you take advantage of both the use of automated kiosks and streamlined security procedures.
Global Entry and TSA Precheck Eligibility Requirements
Global Entry is the more stringent of the two background checks. Global Entry is worth consideration by frequent international passengers or those who prefer to avoid long customs lines. The application fee is $100, includes TSA Precheck benefits and eligibility lasts five years. If international group travel is involved, each member of your party would need to be Global Entry passengers in order to expedite together through customs. In order to use the electronic kiosks, you will need a valid, machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent residence card.
Eligibility is limited to:
- United States citizens
- Lawful permanent residents
- Nationals of the countries of the Netherlands, South Korea or Mexico
Successful applicants will not:
- Have any convictions of a criminal offence
- Be found in violation of the custom laws of any nation
TSA Precheck is designed for frequent domestic travelers or those who prefer to avoid the long security lines at participating U.S. airports. Passengers 12 years old and younger who are accompanied by eligible travelers may also access the TSA Precheck lanes. The application fee is $85 and eligibility is good for five years. TSA Precheck program eligibility requires:
- United States citizenship
- Lawful permanent residency
To be approved, applicants must:
- Not appear on any terrorist watch lists
- Be free of criminal convictions
- Not be currently under indictment
TSA Precheck passengers do NOT automatically qualify for Global Entry. TSA Precheck travelers would still need still to queue up in the regular custom inspection line.
Choosing (or Not) the Best Program for Your Travel Style
Global Entry and TSA Precheck programs help make your corporate and leisure travel as easy as possible. Part of our role as your corporate or leisure travel planner is to keep you informed of and be proactive on the latest news and updates that could affect your travel, whether that’s weather, flight changes, TSA security rules and more.
If you have questions regarding Global Entry and TSA Precheck programs, any of our travel planners can explain the details so you can make the right decision on applying for one or the other.