What Is TSA PreCheck, and Why Do You Need It?

As travel slowly begins to open up, eager travelers can use this time to prepare for future vacations. Renewing passports, staying up-to-date on travel regulations and speaking with a trusted travel advisor are things we may have already thought of but there’s another way for travelers to start prepping.

While passenger counts for airlines continue to climb, it may be time for you to consider TSA PreCheck and Global Entry. Here are the steps to enroll, what you’ll need, and TSA PreCheck benefits.

Expedited Security Line

Do I need TSA PreCheck? No, but it certainly adds a new level of convenience to your airport experience! To create convenience for already screened travelers, TSA PreCheck assists in a much faster process, allowing you to skip lengthy security lines and enjoy stress-free travel.

airport-security-checkThe expedited services will help you avoid the increase in wait times that will inevitably come with the rebound of travel. Once the general consensus feels it’s safe to travel, everyone will be doing so. In a February article, the TSA made the statement that it intended to hire and train 6,000 new TSA agents to accommodate the projected increase in travelers.

Vice President of Travel for AAA Ohio Auto Club, Jeremy Marshall, already noticed the busier lines and traffic during his trip to Orlando, FL in April of this year. Mr. Marshall feels “We might be experiencing more unpredictable wait times as air travel recovers.”

He highly recommends both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to simplify your domestic and international travel.

In a TSA PreCheck security line and you don’t need to remove:

    • Shoes
    • Laptops
    • Belts
    • Jackets
    • 3-1-1 liquids

Simple Applications Process

TSA PreCheck has a simple, four-step process:

    1. Fill out an online application
    2. Pay application fee
    3. Make an appointment and complete the in-person background check at an enrollment center.
    4. Gain approval for TSA PreCheck which will last five years.

 Global Entry vs TSA PreCheck

In addition to TSA PreCheck, you may also want to consider Global Entry.


Global Entry works similarly to TSA PreCheck but works for international travel (Unlike TSA PreCheck). Its enrollment is comparable to TSA PreCheck’s enrollment with an online application, fee and background check. Global Entry also includes TSA PreCheck status free of charge.

Plan your application process accordingly. There may not be a TSA PreCheck or a Global Entry enrollment center in your area. Those enrollment centers do not typically share a building or are located in the same place. Check for an enrollment center near you with the links below.

Find a Global Entry enrollment center.

Find a TSA PreCheck enrollment center.

Don’t Forget the Passport

While prepping for travel with TSA PreCheck, you may also want to double-check that your passport is up to date. Passports must be valid for six months after your return date of international travel. With that in mind, it may be time for you to renew!

For passport application/renewal information, visit travel.state.gov for step-by-step instructions, or read our blog on the 7 Steps for Passport Application and Renewal. 

And don’t forget! AAA Travel stores offer passport photo services at competitive pricing to start the application process off right.

For More Assistance:

Don’t forget to make an appointment with your AAA Travel agent for more assistance with your travel prep! Agents can assist with the following services to make your trip planning a breeze:

Book an appointment with a AAA Travel agent today!

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