Everyone hates lines at the airport. While you’re waiting for the people ahead of you to remove their belts, earrings, throw out water bottles and take off their shoes, you’re left wondering why there isn’t a quicker way to get through it all.
Well, there is.
The TSA Precheck is a U.S. government program specifically created to allow travelers who are deemed low-risk to pass through an expedited security screening at certain U.S. airports.
However, this isn’t just a case of turning up to the airport well dressed – you need to be vetted in advance with an in-person background check. You will then be given a Known Traveler Number, which will be valid for five years.
What’s the process?
First, you’ll need to apply online. This is nice and easy – it takes just five minutes to submit and schedule an appointment with your nearby center.
Once you get to your appointment, the center will need to do a background check and take your fingerprint. According to the TSA, this shouldn’t take any more than ten minutes.
You’ll then be able to use this number to your ticket(s) and use it nationwide, with 200 airports and 67 airlines now onboard with the scheme.
So where can you go to be pre-checked? Here are four easy places you may not have considered.
This year’s Country LakeShake festival had a pre-check set up among the screaming fans and music tents, and it’s set to be one of many.
Getting checked at a music festival will often mean getting fast-tracked through festival security, too, so you don’t have to waste time queuing to see your favorite bands.
That’s right, while you’re picking up pens for the office, you can enroll for pre-check. Enrollment provider IdentoGO opened 50 centers in Staples retail stores in 2018 including Elk Grove Village, just a 30-minute drive away from Chicago.
This provider also has a center on S Delano Ct W. You won’t be able to pick up a new eraser or bump into a pop star while you’re there, but it still gets the job done. Check the opening hours before you go – the center is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 12.00pm and 12.30pm to 4pm.
There’s also an IdentoGo center on 2958 W Belmont Ave. This is open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm, then Saturday just 9am while 2pm.
It’s likely that we’ll now see a lot more sporting events opening pre-check centers after IdentGo brought them to Boston Red Sox home games. A game day ticket will be required, the same as festivals, but it’s an easy and convenient way to get the job ticked off your list.
Keep an eye out at your local games.
Visit the TSA website here to find out more about pre-check.