NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The question is blunt: do you need TSA PreCheck to ensure airport survival? Or can you tough it out in regular security queues in what is expected to be a summer of especially long and slow lines?
To review, TSA Precheck - cost is $85 for five years - requires a traveler to appear at a TSA office, typically with a passport in hand (some state driver's licenses are acceptable ID), and after approval the traveler uses expedited, fast track lines at some airports and with many airlines.
Here are airlines that presently offer PreCheck - Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, United Airlines, Virgin America, and WestJet.
A benefit is that with PreCheck there's no need to remove belts, shoes, small liquids, laptops, and light jackets. Lines generally move briskly.
Compare that to the cries of anger mixed with pain that travelers forced to endure long - sometimes 2+ hours - security lines are shouting, often with hashtag #IHateTheWait.
Many travelers also now are complaining about planes missed because of long lines.
Word of advice: if your employer will reimburse the $85, don't be a fool. Sign up tout de suite.
Some credit cards - notably American Express Platinum - pick up the $85 for cardholders.
The real question is what about the rest of us with skinflint employers or self-employed or without the right credit cards? Is there any reason for us not to get TSA PreCheck? Sure, if you generally fly an airline that does not participate, also if you generally fly out of an airport that doesn't (some 160 now do, according to the TSA but that leaves thousands - most very small - that don't).