How to Avoid Long Lines at the Airport – PreCheck and Global Entry

In the United States we have great options for skipping long security and passport lines.

The shortcut for security lines is called PreCheck. If your printed boarding pass has “PRE” or something similar, you qualify for the short and fast PreCheck line. You can leave your shoes on and your laptop in the bag, but you will need to “de-magnetize” yourself by removing metal so you can pass through the metal detector.

The best shortcut for passport lines when returning to the United States from overseas is Global Entry, although the government is slowly rolling out a smartphone app that may work as well.

How can you get PreCheck or Global Entry? Some airlines can bestow PreCheck to their premium passengers. If you don’t fall into that category, your best options are either buy PreCheck ($85 for 5 years) or buy Global Entry ($100 for 5 years, includes PreCheck). Unless you are certain that you will not be traveling internationally in the next 5 years, Global Entry is the better option.

Google “Global Entry” to find the U.S. government website that explains how to get started and to schedule an interview. The interview is quick and easy for most people.

U.S. Passport
U.S. Passport