The TSA announced Monday it added five new participating airlines to its popular PreCheck program: Austrian Airlines, Interjet, Swoop, VivaAerobus, and PAL Express.
Austrian and Interjet are the headline additions here. Austrian has many routes from the U.S. to its hub in Vienna (VIE), while Interjet is a growing low-cost carrier based in Mexico City (MEX).
TSA has been on a tear in 2019, adding 16 new airlines total to the ranks of PreCheck-eligible carriers, including massive international airlines like Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, EVA, and more. These latest additions bring the total number to 72 airlines. Check out the full list of participating airlines on the TSA’s website.
And that brings up an important point about one of the best airport time-savers out there: Just because you have PreCheck doesn’t mean you’ll always get it. It only works if the airline you’re flying with is part of TSA PreCheck.
How PreCheck Works & How to Get It
Signing up for TSA PreCheck is simple and straightforward. You’ll fill out a quick application and pay the fee. 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.
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 security. 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 to get signed up – including a few ways to do it for free.
One route to get in the PreCheck lane is through Global Entry. Global Entry is a separate government program that helps you speed through immigration when you return to the United States. But it also comes with PreCheck. If you’re weighing Global Entry vs PreCheck, be sure to read our guide to the two programs.
PreCheck typically costs $85 for a five-year membership, while Global Entry costs $100 for the same period. But there are several different credit cards that come with credits that will cover the cost of your application. Just pay your application fee with one of these cards, and you’ll get reimbursed!
With five new airlines joining the mix, there are just a handful of major airlines remaining that aren’t eligible for TSA PreCheck. And that’s great news for any traveler who wants to get through airport security faster.
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.