TSA Pre is AMAZING! (May 24, 2014)


I still haven’t gotten around to uploading travel pics to my computer, but I promise to have an update of my latest travels to Boston and New York City very soon. I am very much looking forward to sharing those experiences with you readers. In the meantime, I wanted to take the time to reiterate the awesomeness that is TSA Pre.

Originally, I signed up for Global Entry to help me expedite my way through customs on my international return flights to the U.S. As a bonus for signing up for Global Entry, an approved traveler also gets the benefit of being automatically enrolled into TSA Pre. I’ve always noticed the express lines at the airport, but never thought that I would qualify to use them for myself…

Well, that all changed after I received my Global Entry card in the mail two days before my trip to Boston. I decided to make use of it, and tried TSA Pre for the very first time flying out of San Jose Airport on Saturday, May 24. This was especially well timed since my flight happened to take place on Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest days of the year at the airport.

Not surprisingly, the line looked like this…



It might be difficult to tell from the pictures, but let me assure you, there was no one waiting in that line that had a smile on their face… Since I am now qualified for the TSA Pre express lane, I was able to bypass the regular line completely.


Not only was there no line, but once I got to the security check, I got to keep my jacket, belt, and shoes on… I had a laptop as well, but thanks to TSA Pre, I didn’t have to remove it from the bag.


I walked through without incident, and didn’t get stared down or patted down by security… For once, I was greeted with a warm smile… 🙂


Total time from getting in line to passing through checkpoint security? 3 minutes… And most of that time was spent walking from Point A to Point Z in a long, empty line.

How long for everyone else? I’m guessing at least 30-45 minutes in that traffic… So, for a $100 fee (for 5 years), or $20/year, I would say that just a single domestic flight already makes the Global Entry card totally worth getting. If you plan to also travel internationally, it becomes a total no-brainer.

I can’t even begin to describe how much peace of mind you gain from knowing that you can arrive to the airport just a short time before your flight and not have to worry about getting held up through airport security. Once you go TSA Pre, you won’t want to go back…

If you haven’t applied for Global Entry yet… what are you waiting for?!?

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I get TSA pre for my airplane status and it is awesome. More often it’s saved my from missing a flight.

6 years ago

That’s great, I bet it felt great just being able to by pass all that mind numbing queuing? Us Brits apparently love to queue but I hate queuing at the airport. I always have hubby panicking that we are going to miss the flight and little miss being vocal about how bored she is! I think I need to check if there is anything like this in the UK.

6 years ago

I just got my number last week, haven’t had a chance to use it yet though!

6 years ago

Also, for anyone thinking of just doing TSA PreCheck (vs. the Global Entry which I hadn’t heard of until this blog!) the fee is $85.

6 years ago
Reply to  FI Fighter

Yeah I never travel overseas, but now that you’ve talked about GE I wish I’d known and gone that route. Ah well, I don’t even have my passport yet. 🙂

JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit.com

I can definitely see the advantages if you’re travelling a lot. I don’t get to fly/travel as much as I’d like to so for now it’s not really worth it to me. I’ll just get there and wait in line. Although hopefully that will be changing in the next few years and then I’ll look into getting on then. I’m sure you had an awesome time and I’m looking forward to seeing the pics. I’m working on booking our flight to Nashville for early next month and I’m ready to go on another trip.

Dave @ The New York Budget

This is absolutely on my “to get” list. I may wait until 2015, though as I don’t have any international travel booked for 2014 and I may as well wait until I have something booked so I can use it!

6 years ago

I missed a flight (due to the guy driving us to the airport and coming on the flight with us sleeping in) from San Diego to Durango, CO and because it was “our” fault, had to cough up like $100 just to get on the next available flight. We got to the airport about 30 minutes before the flight, but as we had to check in snowboards, they told us we would miss the flight, might have gone differently if we had the pre-check thing…will definitely look into it, especially since it’s only $85 for just the TSA pre-check. Thanks… Read more »

No Nonsense Landlord
6 years ago

In the old days, you could arrive 15 minutes ahead of the flight taking off. Once time, I almost missed a flight to Hawaii. They had to open the plane door up top let me on.

That would be a missed flight today.


That’s awesome!

We got our Global entry about the same time as you in anticipation of a London/Ireland trip in August. Also quite a bit of domestic travel over the next couple of years. I can’t wait to experience what you’ve just pictorially described.

Thanks for the sharing!

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

As someone who is always “paranoidely” early, I don’t know that I would need this. But $100 for five years of skipping the security line sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

A Frugal Family's Journey

Since time is money as they say…sounds like a pretty good investment at $20 / year. Especially if you travel a lot and it appears you do your fair share of traveling. 🙂

Time saved in the TSA line can be better spent writing articles for your blog, looking at local real estate for your next rental, or researching the next stock to buy. Chances are, you’ll likely make up that $100 and more with one of the three things mentioned above. 🙂

Best wishes and safe travels. AFFJ