SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 15, August 2016 - Page 93

scan, let the agent take a picture of you, and you’re a CLEAR member for the next twelve months. My experience with CLEAR has been worth the price so far as I have skipped some seriously intimidating lines and the two airports I travel out of frequently (MIA and BWI) have CLEAR lanes. If you don’t live near an airport that is currently offering a CLEAR lane or projected to get a CLEAR lane this year, you may want to skip this program for now and save the $15 per month until it's available near you. Added bonuses included in CLEAR membership include discounted Hertz car rentals, a free trial of TripIt Pro, a popular app to help you organize your travel, and access to CLEAR lanes at select sport venues such as baseball stadiums and basketball arenas. For more information on this program visit

TSA Precheck TSA Precheck is one of several known traveler programs and is best for those traveling domestically in the United States. For this program you agree to undergo a background check, provide your fingerprints, and pay an application fee in exchange for benefits at the security checkpoint such as: dedicated TSA Precheck lines; the ability to leave your shoes, belts, and jackets on; not having to remove your liquids or large electronics from your bag; and the ability to go through a regular metal detector instead of the normal x-ray scanner. Individuals 12 and under can use the TSA Precheck lane with an eligible guardian, but anyone 13 and up needs to have their own TSA Precheck membership to use the dedicated lane.

The application fee is $85, paid to TSA when applying for the program online but if you are approved you are entitled to use TSA Precheck for the next five years. After a conditional approval you will be asked to attend an in person interview which requires a fingerprint scan, verification of your identity, and a few questions. A few days after the in person interview you will receive what is referred to as a Known Traveler Number (KTN) which you will provide when booking travel. People with TSA Precheck commonly forget to provide their KTN at the time of booking, but most airlines will let you update this information up to the time you check in for your flight. You will not receive a membership card or any credentials beyond the KTN so keep this number written in a safe place. When you print your boarding pass or load it on to your phone you will see TSA Precheck and this is the only way to prove to the TSA that you are a member of the program. For more information on this program visit

Global Entry Similar to TSA Precheck, Global Entry is a known traveler program best suited for individuals traveling internationally more than a few times a year. This program includes TSA Precheck, but the main perk is expedited screening at customs upon returning to the United States. Most major airports are outfitted with Global Entry digital kiosks which allow you to declare any items you are bringing into the country, scan your passport, and take your receipt to the customs officer, all in a few short minutes. The application fee for this program is $100, only a few dollars more expensive than TSA Precheck alone, and you remain enrolled in the program for five years. After a conditional approval you will be asked to attend an in-person interview which requires a fingerprint scan, verification of your identity and a few questions. Just like with TSA Precheck, you receive a Known Traveler Number to be entered every time you book a flight departing in the United States, though with Global Entry you receive your KTN at the conclusion of the in-person interview. You will receive a membership card which is only used when crossing the Mexican or Canadian border by car, so it’s important to keep the KTN on hand. From application to approval, I had to wait about six weeks but I only had to wait about a week for a convenient interview time after my application had been conditionally approved, though wait times will vary based on your location. For more information on this program visit