The Perks of Pre-clearance
As the TSA and international security agencies seek ways to fine-tune their procedures and provide a more efficient airport experience for passengers, opt-in pre-clearance programs, such as Global Entry, have gained popularity. Business travelers have discovered the advantages of turning over some personal information in exchange for the peace of mind gained when they know they can save time both before and after their flights.
Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, allows expedited clearance for travelers upon arrival in the United States who have undergone a background check and in-person interview. Participants use automated kiosks to scan their fingerprints and pass through customs without waiting in line.
A big perk of enrollment in the Global Entry program is that participants are also eligible to enroll in TSA Pre ✓™, the domestic pre-clearance program. The TSA teamed up with several airlines—Delta, American, US Airways, United, and Alaskan Airlines—for Pre ✓™, which is available for domestic itineraries originating in 35 airports nationwide. US citizens who are members of Global Entry may use TSA PreCheck on participating airlines by entering their ID number from their Global Entry card into their flight reservation information or into their frequent flyer account.
This qualifies them to receive expedited screening—access to special security lanes where it’s not required to remove shoes, or take laptops or liquids from luggage. This translates to an easy, hassle-free airport experience.
The TSA has said it will still administer random security measures and that Trusted Travelers aren’t guaranteed expedited screening. This is part of the agency’s “intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security.” The goal is to remove low-risk, frequent travelers from and free up government resources to focus on true risks.
To opt-in to these programs, travelers must register for a Global Online Enrollment System account with US Customs and Border Protection. They can then enroll in the Global Entry program and be issued a Trusted Traveler membership. To join the TSA Pre ✓™ Program, these membership details must be submitted to the TSA’s Secure Flight system. The TSA then communicates with the traveler’s airline, and a special barcode is printed on the boarding pass, allowing the traveler access to the expedited screening line.
These programs have proven a huge success and are continually expanding to new airports, much to the delight of frequent flyers. For information about how to enroll, visit globalentry.gov or ask your FROSCH agent.
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