Veteran travelers leverage Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check programs to make sure they speed through security checks, get stuck for fewer screenings, and overall enjoy a less personally intrusive pre-boarding experience. Many people who do not fly much aren’t clear on the differences, or what each program entails. That’s what we’re going to break down and look at. Is one better for your personal travel style? Let’s find out.
What Is TSA Pre-Check
At its core, TSA Pre-Check is a membership program with dedicated lines in security checkpoints. Membership in the program allows approved travelers to use expedited services and deal with less personally intrusive screening methods than non-member travelers.
At security points, member travelers will go through metal detectors instead of the full-body scans that people often find uncomfortable. They get to keep their shoes and light coats on. They do not have to remove their computers or liquids from their storage area.
TSA PreCheck uses more than 200 airports across the US, with a total of 73 airlines accepting passengers with TSA PreCheck clearance. The drawback is that it is only used for domestic flights, so if you’re traveling abroad, TSA PreCheck is not going to do you any good.
What Is Global Entry
Global Entry is a membership program designed for international travelers. Not only does it grant member travelers all of the same domestic benefits of TSA PreCheck, but it also provides speedier entry to the US upon return through customs and immigration. This can make the return home from travel abroad smoother for travelers since re-entry to the US can be tedious.
Global Entry member travelers can use their benefits at 75 US and international airports. Some international airports even allow Global Entry members to get their customs clearance prior to their initial departure, instead of once they arrive back in the States.
What You Need To Know
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are just two of the US Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler programs. There are also the Canadian NEXUS program, as well as the Sentri and FAST programs of both Canada and Mexico. All of these all the prescreening of travelers in order to get expedited admission to the country of destination.
Who Is Eligible To Get TSA PreCheck Or Global Entry?
Any US citizen or permanent resident can obtain applications for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, as well as citizens of:
- The UK
- South Korea
Canadian and Mexican citizens as well as residents can also apply for Global Entry benefits when applying for NEXUS.
There are some disqualifying factors that will prevent some people from being able to gain membership to the Trusted Traveler programs. These include:
- Conviction of a criminal offense, have pending or outstanding warrants
- Ineligible for immigration
- Providing incorrect or inaccurate application information
- Cannot prove low-risk status to Customs & Border Patrol
- Previous violation of customs or immigration law