TSA PreCheck

Travel Tidbits: new pre-check airline + fresh art at Miami Int’l Airport

Just in time for summer, we learn that the latest airline to join TSA’s pre-check program is British Airways, bringing to 53 the number of airlines participating in the program.

And Miami International Airport has some new, high-flying art:

The new work is called ‘Ando Volando’ (I’m Flying) and is by Miami-based artist Emilio Adán Martínez. Look for it in the Concourse E satellite. The new kite-like artwork has a companion display, ‘Andan Volando’ (They are flying), located inside Concourse D.

Both installations are constructed with paper, string and Australian pine branches and are meant to resemble kites and boats and suggest the idea of flight.

Want TSA PreCheck? Go buy some paper.

Summer is coming and checkpoint security lines at airports around the country are going to get longer.

So if you haven’t signed up for TSA’s PreCheck program yet, now would be a good time.

Don’t want to take an extra trip to the airport to do that? You may not have to if you’ve got a Staples office supply story nearby.

Staples office supply company and Idemia, the company that has the TSA contract to enroll people in the PreCheck program, have teamed up to set up IdentoGO enrollment centers in 50 Staples stores.

The cost of enrollment in the TSA PreCheck program is $85 and is good for five years at $17 per year.

Need to get new passport photo or a certified birth certificate?  Those IdentoGO Centers at Staples will help with those too.

 And if Staples isn’t in your community, check this site for another place to sign-up for TSA PreCheck.

Sign up for TSA Precheck at some NFL games

 

Football fans fumbling over where to sign-up for the Transportation Security Administration’s security checkpoint shortcut program – called TSA PreCheck – can now take care of that task during NY Jets and San Francisco 49ers home games at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, respectively.

The NY Jets and the San Francisco 49ers are the first to partner with identity-verification company Idemia to bring the IdentoGO technology and the PreCheck verification program to sports stadiums.

In the next few weeks, more sports teams are expected to join the program, which also provides some biometric-based technology that can enable ‘trusted fan’ programs to be deployed at some stadiums.

For now, Jets fans (ticketed or just tailgating) seeking to enroll in PreCheck will find a branded IdentoGo recreational vehicle parked at the MetLife entrance (between parking Lots E and F) on game days.

San Francisco 49ers fans on the west coast will need to be ticketed for the day’s home game to access the IdentoGoRV, which will be parked along the vendor-rich “Faithful Mile” (at the Green Parking Lot 1- Gate C).

Applying for TSA PreCheck costs $85 (and is good for 5 years) and the in-person ID verification process can take place at 44 airports, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle offices or at a wide out-of-airport IdentoGo locations

But signing up at these football stadiums will come with a small bonus.

In addition to the time-savings for sports fans, those who sign up at New York Jets home games will receive a $20 gift certificate that can be used inside the stadium towards beer, food and merchandise. Fans who sign up at either stadium will also get an approved clear plastic bag that can be used to take items in the stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers PreCheck sign-up program kicked this past this weekend, but response to the program at NY Jets home games has been so positive that IdentoGo had to scramble to double on-site enrollment capacity after the first game.

 Who gets your $85 and can you skip that fee?

 According to TSA, the $85 fee a traveler pays to apply for the PreCheck program breaks down this way:

The vendor – IdentoGo is currently the exclusive provider of TSA PreCheck – gets $34.50, which TSA says, is used for staffing, leases, infrastructure, web, network, materials, equipment, mobile events, call centers and other services for the all the application sites around the country.

Later this year or next, TSA says it plans to issue a request for proposals from other companies that want to bid to provide this service.

$12.50 is the FBI’s Fee.

The balance of the fee goes to TSA, which uses its portion for administration of the application program.

For those who would like to avoid paying the fee, there are about a dozen credit cards (including selected brands of American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club) that offer a fee credit for the TSA PreCheck (and Global Entry) program and several airlines and hotel brands, including United Airlines, Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Carlson Rezidor, that allow members to pay for the program with mile or points.

(A slighty different version of my story about sign-ups for TSA Precheck extending to NFL stadiums first appeared on CNBC.)

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NY Jets football fans can sign up for TSA Precheck at home games

Football fans take note:  If you keep meaning to sign up for TSA Precheck but can’t make the time to go to the airport for the in-person interview part of the application, you now have the option of taking care of that task at NY Jets home games at MetLife Stadium.

An IdentoGO processing station will be set up between lots E and F outside of the MetLife gate during home games throughout the 2017 season.

More details here.

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More – and more creative – ways to pay for TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center at IND Airport - courtesy TSATSAS PRECHECK

Enrolling in TSA PreCheck seems to be the #1 solution being proposed to whittle down the wait times in security checkpoint lines in the U.S.

But the $85 fee is a deterrent to many travelers.

Now there are some news ways to cover that fee.

Today, Club Carlson, the rewards program for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, is announcing that, starting July 1, 2016, program members will be able to swap 65,000 points for an authorization code that can be used towards the $85 application fee for five years of TSA PreCheck.

This may be the first hotel rewards program to offer TSA Precheck as a redemption option, but it is unlikely that it will stand alone for long.

There’s another way travelers can use points instead of cash for the TSA PreCheck fee:

Thanks Again, the program that lets travelers earn points for purchases at airports and exchange them for miles, hotel rewards and Visa prepaid cash cards, now allows members to cash-in Thanks Again Points for TSA Pre-Check at airports across the United States.

“We wanted to give consumers a reward option that saves them more than just money,” said Marc Ellis, Thanks Again CEO, “Expedited screening for Thanks Again members will cut-down the time spent in standard security lines and give travelers an enjoyable travel experience from the very beginning of their journey, making it a win for TSA and security overall.”

It will take 4,250 Thanks Again points to get a TSA PreCheck promotion code from the program app to cover the $85 fee.

“I think redeeming frequent flier points or miles for TSA Pre Check fees is an exceptional idea,” said Jay Sorensen of IdeaWorks, “I also know airlines are considering offering this as a perk for their elite tier members.”

What happens if you use your points (under either program) to get a PreCheck promotion code but get denied during the application process?

The policy is the same as if you paid by cash: no refunds.