Another month, another new TSA PreCheck airline. The latest addition to the expedited airport security program is Swiss International Airlines, the TSA announced Thursday. With the other recent additions of British Airways, Scandinavian Airlines and more, 54 airlines now partner with TSA to offer passengers a quicker pass through security.
The fact that airlines have to agree to participate underscores an important point: Just because you have TSA PreCheck doesn’t mean you can skip the lines.
While the list of eligible airlines keeps growing, some are still notably absent. Top-ranked airlines like Qatar, Japan Airlines, and EVA Air don’t participate. British Airways – the largest carrier for flights between the U.S. and Europe – didn’t join up until earlier this summer. Check out the full list of which airlines are eligible for PreCheck.
Swiss is a solid addition to the fold. They fly to their Zurich (ZRH) hub from five U.S. outposts: Boston (BOS), Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York City-JFK (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO). As a member of the Star Alliance, it’s a great way to get to Europe on miles. And whether you’re flying Swiss or another carrier, TSA PreCheck is a must.
Your first time through the PreCheck lane, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to join the program. The security lines are often drastically shorter, but that’s only half of the benefit. You get to leave your shoes, a belt and a light jacket on while going through. Your laptop and the carry-on approved liquids in your bag can also stay put as you put them through the baggage screeners. If you’re eager to get through security faster, you have a few options.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to get PreCheck. Including plenty of options to get it for free.
How to Get TSA PreCheck
Signing up for TSA PreCheck is simple and straightforward. You’ll fill out a quick application and pay the $85 fee for a five-year membership. From there you will head to a certified enrollment center for a short interview (bring your passport), fingerprinting and a photo. If everything checks out, you should get the OK within a week or two.
However, a better option is to sign up for Global Entry. While Global Entry is a separate program to get travelers through immigration when returning to the U.S., it actually comes with PreCheck. And given the $100 fee for a five-year membership, that makes it a no-brainer. Read our post on the two programs to learn more.
And better yet, a growing number of credit cards offer $100 credits that can cover the entire cost of your enrollment. That includes great travel rewards cards like the American Express Platinum card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as well as some cards with smaller annual fees. Read up on the best cards that offer this benefit.
Every airline that joins PreCheck is welcome news. The more airlines that partner with TSA, the faster and more comfortable your travels can be.
Lead Photo (CC BY 2.0): Christian Junker
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.