Global Entry vs. TSA Pre-Check

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The first time I ever flew was just a few weeks before 9/11, so I don’t really know (or remember) what airport security used to be like. But I’ve watched a lot of Friends, which has a surprising amount of airport scenes, so I can somewhat imagine being able to greet someone at the gate. But as we all know, airport security has come a very, very long way over the last two decades.

I allow plenty of time in my client’s itineraries for security and customs, but I don’t think you can ever be too prepared. TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are great resources that allow approved travelers to take an expedited route through security and customs (Global Entry only) and I’m thinking you might be interested in those things.

What is TSA Pre-Check?

TSA Pre-Check is a membership that allows you to move through airport security quicker. Not only do you go through an expedited line, but you do not have to remove your shoes, liquids, laptops, or light jackets. The membership is $85 for 5 years. You can apply online here, and a 10-minute interview will follow.

If you fly at least twice a year, I think TSA Pre-Check is a no brainer.

What is Global Entry?

While TSA Pre-Check is administered by the Transportation Security Administration, Global Entry is a service that is administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Essentially, it allows you to move through customs much quicker because you go through an expedited line and, typically, you will use a kiosk instead of interviewing with a Border Agent. Global Entry is $100 for 5 years and includes TSA Pre-Check.

The process to obtain Global Entry is a little more intense than TSA Pre-Check, but you can get started here.

If you leave the country at-least once every-other year, I think Global Entry is for you. Keep in mind, TSA Pre-Check is included for all of your domestic flights as well.

I’m hoping that all of you will read this and think, “Honey, we have to sign up now!”, because that would mean you’re travelers. I really believe (like deep down in my soul) that traveling is one of the best investments you can make in your marriage (no kids allowed) and your family (kids allowed, obviously) so if you want to make some plans, let’s get started.

Image via Honestly WTF

Lauren Davis