TSA PRE✓ , GLOBAL ENTRY, & NOW WHAT?
Either the TSA is doing their absolute best to limit wait times at the airport to make everyone's lives easier, or they're really smart at capitalizing on the wait times. Either way, this is great!
TSA now offers Clear. What is Clear? It's similar to the fast pass at amusement parks. It allows you to skip the TSA Pre✓ and the regular TSA security lines allowing you to bypass all the "plebes" and head straight to security #VIP.
This program is meant to move you through security quicker. You wait on a line separate from those who don't have TSA Pre✓ (just to make them jealous). When it is your turn to approach security, you don't have to take your shoes or belt off, and your laptop can stay in your bag. This is all meant to move things along. But in all honesty, so many people have a TSA Pre✓ it's more convenient just to have it in order to not have to get undressed at security. Also, many airlines are offering complementary TSA Pre✓ depending on your status (example, Delta Gold SkyTeam members get TSA Pre✓, automatically) . Keep in mind, not all airlines participate in the program so check out the TSA website for more information.
Global Entry allows passengers to skip the typical customs line and head straight to the Global Entry kiosks to "check out."
You know how when you're returning to the United States from an international flight, the flight attendants always hand you a declaration form and you have to borrow a pen from your sleeping neighbor or you wait for them to wake up? Well, if you have a Global Entry you do not have to fill this form out until you reach a Global Entry kiosk! I KNOW, IT IS AMAZING!
The only problem with going through customs ninja fast is the fact that you might have to wait for your bags at baggage claim, by then everyone else who was way behind you has now caught up to you.
With Global Entry, you also get TSA Pre✓.
It appears that this program is only at a few specific airports. This is a program for frequent fliers who might not have TSA Pre✓ and if they do have it… even better! Clear allows passengers to bypass the long security lines and head straight to "The Man" to get checked.
Unlike the other programs which are a one time fee every 5 years, Clear asks members to pay monthly. I'm guessing if you're a frequent flyer and also frequently late for your flights this program would be the absolute best combined with Global Entry. So basically, I'm endorsing it ALL. Get Clear and get Global Entry.