The difference between TSA Precheck and Global Entry

TSA Precheck

It allows travelers who want to accelerate TSA procedures and use more expedited security lines at airports. It was launched in 2013. Travelers who have a membership at TSA Precheck can leave their laptops and liquids in certain containers in their bags without the need to take off their shoes and belts while going through the airport security. Travelers who have membership in TSA Precheck could find services in over 200 airports in the US and about 73 participant airports in the service.

Credit: slate.com

According to the TSA, 94% of travelers who use TSA precheck lanes experience five minutes or less of wait, which is a long time to save. TSA security lanes take about 30 minutes or more on average time.

The traveler has to be a U.S. citizen or needs to have a legal resident of the States. There are no definite requirements about age but children at 12 years and below can use the TSA precheck lanes while traveling with a parent who is a member.

In case the applicant fulfills these requirements, he can fill out an online application that requires personal data, location of birth, address, height, weight, and eye color. When the traveler is accepted, there will be a need to schedule an in-person interview at one of the nearly 400 enrollment centers which are located at airports.

Credit: tsa.gov

This interview takes a few minutes, the agent revises the information and gets the application fee of 85$ which can be paid by credit or debit card. When the person is accepted, he will have a „Known Traveler Number“.

After finishing the TSA Precheck procedures, the person should first register your „Known Traveler Number“ with any airline you fly with by logging into your frequent-flyer accounts and adding it to your traveler profile. If it works, you should see the TSA Precheck logo on your boarding pass when you check-in. If it does not appear, you can ask an airline agent at the airport to add the „Known Traveler Number“ to the reservation. The TSA Precheck is valid for five years. The membership can be renewed six months before its expiration.

Global Entry

It’s a U.S. program designed to protect travelers to the low risk to use automated immigrations kiosks and expedited customs lines when returning to the U.S. from abroad. Now it’s available at over 70 international airports in the U.S. and a few international airports such as Abu Dhabi International and Toronto Pearson.

Credit: nytimes.com

A traveler who can apply for Global Entry has to be a U.S citizen or needs to have a lawful permanent U.S. resident, or a citizen from a list of other approved countries that include Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Singapore, and Switzerland, among others.

The person has to create a „Traveler Trusted Program“ online profile, then fill out an online statement that includes information about where the person has lived and traveled in the last five years, criminal records, and some physical descriptions. The traveler has to pay a non-refundable 100$.

Credit: cbp.gov

In case a traveler is accepted, an in-person interview at one of the CBP’s enrollment centers is set up. This interview takes about 15 minutes and then he should get the „Known Traveler Number“. The Global Entry’s expiry date is five years, and it can be renewed a year before it expires.

Which one is better, TSA or Global Entry?

Some people may think that their internal travel just requires a TSA Precheck, and pay 85$ instead of paying 100$ for the Global Entry. Actually, the Global Entry includes access to TSA Precheck advantages, so it will be better to apply for Global Entry to get both expedited security screening and customs and immigration processing.

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