Friday, February 20, 2015

TSA Pre -- You Want it, But How Badly?

The Glitter Globe, S. R. Karfelt, Travel,
The Glitter Globe/S. R. Karfelt

TSA Pre is a screening process you can go through ($85) and if you pass the investigation process, (no refund if you don’t) in many airports you can get through security quicker, and without getting mostly naked.

If you’re approved, whenever you purchase an airline ticket it will have a coveted TSA Pre on it. That means you get to go through a separate security line where you will not have to take your shoes/belt/leg brace off, remove your laptop from the case, put all of your liquids into a regulation baggie, and the line will likely be much quicker to get through.

Why is this a big deal? Airport security is a modern day Russian Roulette when you get to security. Someone will be packing a jar of honey, a tube of toothpaste, a forgotten water bottle in a backpack, and you have a plane to catch.

That’s just too bad because everything must be investigated. There is no leeway and you’d better have mailed your sense of humor ahead because security won’t let it through, and if you put it in your checked luggage you may never see it again.

Most people try to go through security as fast as possible. The peer pressure not to hold up the line is huge. You and your hand sanitizer are standing between a hundred business people trying to make a flight. And a family of four headed for Disney World is stuffed to the gills with hidden juice boxes standing in front of you.

So how do you get TSA Pre and make one part of your journey easier?

First, you are a U.S. Citizen and you aren’t a felon. In fact the more uneventful your life has been between you, jail, and prison, probably the better. Second, you fill out the paperwork on-line. CLICK HERE. After filling out your information online, you’ll receive a notice and be able to make an appointment for the next step.

The Glitter Globe, Author, TSA PreThe Third step requires your presence at an enrollment center. You’ll need to bring your identification and your fingerprints. You’ll also need to find your enrollment center. Mine involved over two hours of travel in snow squalls to the Port of Oswego Authority building on Lake Ontario. So good luck with that part.

All you have to do for the fourth step is wait for it. Ideally you’ll know in two to three weeks (and you can check your status online). Your Known Traveler Number will be good for five years. You’ll also need to enter it online when you book your travel with the airlines.

The Glitter Globe, S. R. KarfeltOswego Port Authority Location, Finding TSA PreBy the way, if you’re going to Oswego for your TSA Pre, your GPS can’t help you but I can. After the bridge the street numbers repeat in Oswego. Ironically the facility is on the second Second street. It’s the building at land’s end, next to the ship, after the guard shack, on the second floor, in the closet with the really nice agent, and bring your parka because the Great Lakes aren’t kidding. They will ice you.

And you’ll want to have lunch at The Press Box on First Street. The second First Street. They have a fireplace.

If you’re not traveling cross state in a deep freeze, your experience probably won’t be as much work. I like adventure, so I was cool with it. 

Are you interested in getting your TSA Pre? The links are right here for your convenience. If you’re not going to do it, I assume you just like standing in line. Am I right? And this is an excellent opportunity for us to exchange going through security stories. Did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally put my water bottle into someone else’s backpack just before we got in line for security?


  1. This is crazy.


    Then again, I'm an army wife, and I think most things like this are crazy. And no, I'm not about to do the TSA Pre thing.


  2. Hey Katie! Most people probably have easier access to an enrollment center than I do! So it wouldn't be so bad. This will be worth it to me because I spend a lot of time in security in my socks and digging stuff out of my carry-on!

    BTW - I think all military get this free, which is as it should be! :)

  3. My parents did PRE TSA before their trip to Scotland. I probably will with my next trip. Thanks for the links and such.

  4. LaDonna - Once you fill it out online, before you even pay or go to the enrollment center, it increases your chances of getting a sample "TSA Pre" on your ticket. I think it's just a teaser, but it really inspired me to complete the process because it was so much less hassle!
    Scotland is where all the musers need to go for Yes. Business. :)