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The two innovations of the past several years that have made the US travel experience substantially more pleasant have been TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry. As a reminder, TSA Pre-Check allows eligible travelers expedited security screening, where they don’t have to take off their shoes, or take their liquids or laptops out of their bags (and will soon also be exempt from a bunch of other arbitrary rules).
Meanwhile Global Entry allows for expedited customs & immigration, where eligible travelers can just use kiosks at immigration, rather than having to queue for an agent.
While Global Entry is valid regardless of which airline you’re flying, TSA Pre-Check requires flying certain airlines that are enrolled in the program.
Over the past year the TSA has nicely expanded the number of airlines that participate in Pre-Check. For example, last year the TSA added Aeromexico, Etihad, and Lufthansa to the program, among other airlines. Earlier this year the TSA added 11 more airlines, including Avianca, Spirit, Virgin Atlantic, and more.
Seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check
The TSA announced today that seven more airlines have joined TSA Pre-Check, including Copa Airlines, Dominican Wings, InterCaribbean Airways, Silver Airways, Singapore Airlines, Swift Air, and Turkish Airlines.
While a lot of foreign carriers have already been added, oddly no Asian airlines have been eligible for TSA Pre-Check up until now, so it’s great to see Singapore Airlines added to the list. This will benefit Singapore Airlines passengers traveling out of their gateways in Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. I’ve taken Singapore’s flight from New York to Frankfurt many times, which departs from JFK’s Terminal 4. Security lines there can be abysmal, so it will be a huge time saver to have access to TSA Pre-Check.
I’m surprised to see Turkish Airlines added to the list, given the reports of passengers traveling to Istanbul getting “SSSS” on their boarding pass, and given that Turkey is on the list of countries which are impacted by the electronics ban.
Registering for TSA Pre-Check
Keep in mind that while you can pay to register for TSA Pre-Check directly, you’re much better off registering for Global Entry, as it also comes with TSA Pre-Check (TSA Pre-Check, on the other hand, doesn’t come with Global Entry).
Several credit cards offer Global Entry fee credits, where they’ll reimburse you for the $100 fee to join Global Entry. These cards include the following:
- Citi Prestige® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
The very best way to get TSA Pre-Check is through NEXUS, which costs just $50 and gets you expedited immigration in the US and Canada, Global Entry, and TSA Pre-Check. You pay half the price and get the most privileges. But that’s not as practical for everyone, since there aren’t as many centers where you can enroll for NEXUS, since it’s primarily intended for those traveling frequently between the US and Canada.
It’s great to finally see more airlines eligible for TSA Pre-Check, and I’m especially happy to see the first Asian airline added to the list. Here’s to hoping that Cathay Pacific and other major Asian carriers become TSA Pre-Check eligible as well.
Which other airlines would you most like to see join Pre-Check?