Friday, November 20, 2015

Expanded hours for TSA Pre-Check applications

If you are among the millions of air travelers who have not yet applied for a Trusted Traveler nuber to help speed your way through security, some changes are coming that will make doing so more convenient.

The company called IdentoGO, which provides enrollment services for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will continue to expand hours of operations at select TSA Pre-Check application centers and will begin Saturday operations in some locations on a trial basis.

The expanded hours of operation will increase the number of appointments available to passengers who want to enroll in the program and add new capacity to serve an additional 2,300 TSA Pre-Check customers each month, the company said in a statement announcing the expanded hours.

TSA Pre-Check at SEA
“Interest in TSA Pre✓® continues to grow as more Americans realize the advantages of an expedited security screening experience," Charles Carroll, senior vice president for identity services at IdentoGO, said. “Opening locations on Saturdays and continuing to expand our hours of operations is another step in making sure that eligible passengers can apply for TSA Pre✓® quickly and hassle-free.”

Saturday hours will be tested in 13 major cities, while offices in nine cities will offer expanded weekday hours. The new expanded hours of operation vary by location and are available at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/locator.

IdentoGO also recently announced a new partnership with H&R Block to co-market a range of identity services, including the TSA Pre-Check application program. Through this new partnership, H&R Block will market and deliver IdentoGO services to customers throughout 27 states, and expand the number of application centers available for TSA Pre-Check by approximately 20 percent.

TSA Pre-Check is an expedited security screening program that enables passengers enrolled in the program to clear security at more than 150 U.S. airports without removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets at security checkpoints.

My TSA Pre-Check application was approved in the summer of 2014 and every time I use the Pre-Check lines, am amazed at the difference it makes. Departing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) for a recent trip to Canada, my wife and I walked right up to the TSA agent, as there was absolutley no wait for Pre-Check. We completed the screening process in mere minutes. For comparison, a group of fellow travelers who had checked in at the airline counter immediately ahead of us took 20 minutes longer that we did to clear security.

In addition, other Trusted Traveler programs will also provide access to the TSA's fast lanes. Those include Global Entry, which speeds the customs process when returning from overseas, provides cards so members can use NEXUS and SENTRI lanes when returning from Canada or Mexico by land or sea, and gives members use of the Pre-Check lines. Read about my experience applying for Global Entry here.

Applying for TSA Pre-Check requires a non-refundable deposit of $85 while Global Entry requires a $100 deposit. If approved, the credentials are valid for a period of five years. In my estimation, the process and modest cost of applying for either program pays back huge dividends.

Travelers may pre-enroll online for TSA Pre-Check at http://www.identogo.com/precheck, or start the process of applying for Global Entry on the Customs and Border Protection website at http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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