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TSA encourages PreCheck for holiday travelers

TSA's “Travel With Ease” campaign promotes safe distancing at airport checkpoints.
Credit: AP
Transportation Security Administration personnel and travelers observe COVID-19 transmission prevention protocols as acrylic dividers are employed to further protect staff working a Terminal 5 security checkpoint at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The Transportation Security Administration launched a new “Travel With Ease” campaign to encourage air travelers to enroll in the TSA PreCheck program if they plan to travel over the upcoming holidays.

The campaign points out why TSA PreCheck benefits may be more helpful than ever as travelers experience convenience and less physical contact.

“TSA has made considerable changes to its checkpoint processes to make commercial air travel more safe and secure for everyone during the pandemic,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a media release aboout the new campaign. “Obtaining TSA PreCheck is something that each traveler can do to make the checkpoint experience even more efficient, eliminating several contact points, which in most cases, includes the need for a bin.”

TSA PreCheck allows an approved passenger to pass through checkpoints wearing shoes, belts and jackets. Electronics and small-bottle liquids stay in bags. TSA says passengers usually wait less than five minutes at checkpoints.

A TSA PreCheck application can be started online and at home. Passengers can apply online and schedule an appointment at any of the more than 400 enrollment centers. The the applicant must attend an in-person appointment that includes fingerprinting for a background check and pay $85 for the five-year membership. TSA says many credit cards and loyalty programs also reimburse the application fees. The interview takes about ten minutes.   

Successful TSA PreCheck applicants receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) within a few weeks, then they can add their unique KTN when they reserve flights going forward.

TSA said renewals can be processed entirely online in 3-5 minutes.