Back in 2016, my husband and I invested in TSA Pre-Check (we actually did it for our anniversary--we are such a romantic couple ?); and its seriously the BEST thing!
If you are a person who travels via airplane a few times a year TSA Pre-Check is so worth it (if you like to SKIP LINES like I do!).
TSA Pre-Check speeds you through security at the airport & there is usually a separate line just for TSA Pre-Check. Since having TSA Pre-Check status, I've never waited longer than 5 minutes in an airport security line. The only time that I've ever been to the airport and there WAS NOT a TSA Pre-Check line is when I've gone to the airport at an odd time (like 3AM for a 5AM flight).
The BEST part about TSA Pre-Check to me (besides being in a much shorter line) is that you don't have to take off shoes & socks when walking through security. The WORST thing is taking off everything to get through an airport security line.
TSA Pre-Check costs $85 but it lasts 5 years! So basically for $17 a year, you can have peace of mind at the airport instead of DREADING how long the security line will be.
To apply you fill out a form here. Then you must go to an "authorized interview" location to be fingerprinted and interviewed (this whole process took about 15 minutes per person when my husband and I went). Then they mail you your TSA Pre-Check number in the mail (Known Traveler Number).
When you book flights you just put that number in the TSA Pre-Check or Known Traveler Number (KTN) field. If you are using a travel consultant such as myself, you can just have them enter your number for you as well. You MUST enter this number as it has to be attached to your ticket when you get to the security checkpoint at the airport. If you get to the checkpoint and its NOT attached to your ticket, you will have to go through the regular security checkpoint line.
After your TSA Pre-Check status expires in 5 years, you can easily renew it online (without having to go to be fingerprinted and interviewed again).
The only con that I can see to investing in TSA Pre-Check is that it only works at US airports (Global Entry is a better option for International which I will cover in another post).
For a list of airports that offer TSA Pre-Check click here.
So, if you're on the fence about TSA Pre-Check and you fly more than I'd say TWICE a year and can't STAND to be in a line--this is definitely a great investment. I arrived at the airport 45 minutes before my flight took off to Cabo this summer and made it to my gate 5 minutes before boarding at IAH (Bush Intercontinental Airport) thanks to TSA Pre-Check.
NOTE: I don't EVER recommend arriving this late at an airport (lol)