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Suggestion for Air Travel


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16 hours ago, Cruisegirl1976 said:

I guess it all depends on what airport your are traveling from/to, vice versa, and the time of your flights... my husband will not shell out the $85.00, and I hate to admit he was right the last time we traveled, there was hardly no line in the regular tsa line on our 1st  flight and on our way home from Miami, there was maybe a 5 minute wait through tsa, and taking off shoes and belt really isn't a big deal, imo.

My husband had me do that online.  However, after filling in all the info, when it came to “check out”, the total was over $200.  Needless to say, we never followed through.

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Paying the fee for TSA Pre check is a personal choice based on one's value system.  For us, it is worth it as we frequently fly out of Chicago - Midway (MDW)  and the TSA Pre Check lines are always much shorter than the regular security check lines.  Not having to take off shoes is an added bonus. 

By the same token, we have neighbors who hired a "Pooper Scooper" service to pickup their dog's piles on a weekly basis.  They are both physically capable of doing the job but they find value in that expenditure.  I don't.  

How one spends their money is their choice.

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I have pre-check and renewed it and plan on keeping it even though I literally travel once a year on average.

But I do think it's best for places where TSA have their own lanes (I fly from O'Hare) I've left from Kansas MO before and they don't have their own lane, so no perks on skipping the lines (fortunately, I've never experienced excessive length there). Once I got to the agent they highlight where my boarding pass says TSAPre but it's up to me to wave and holler and make sure the person at the scanner sees it well in advance so I don't have to remove my shoes.

Also had a not great experience leaving I think Houston. We had one of the first flights of the day and security was only just opening. They made the choice not to open pre-check. I thought it would be fine but my boarding pass was on my phone. Phone had to go through the scanner. I showed one person my precheck info and that person was going to tell the person on the other end of the scanner. Only they didn't. They vanished like a ghost (literally no one knew who I was even talking about) and I had to stop the whole line while I fought with my shoes which were not TSA-friendly.

 

So yeah....if your home airport doesn't have a dedicated lane...maybe think twice.

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So true!  We have TSA Precheck because we frequently fly in & out of MCO.  Makes life much easier IMO.  My money my choice.  But I often question OTHER people’s choices😁.  My perfectly capable neighbor sits reading a book while someone else cleans her house.  I do not get it!!  Like us, it’s just 2 of them in an empty nest so how dirty can a house get?!?!?  Her money, her choice 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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20 minutes ago, Pooch said:

Truth be told, I have a maid too but I’m married to him!  He keeps the house pretty spotless.  His mom taught him well and I learned early on not to get in his way.  I do the cooking, most of the laundry, finances and trip planning.  He does the rest.

^^^^  SAME!!!!  ^^^^ 

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20 hours ago, not easy being green said:

We all have TSA Pre Check and also Clear - some credit cards reimburse you for Clear.  At some airports this has even a faster than TSA Pre Check.  We usually fly out of ORD and you jump the line (even the TSA Pre Check), this cuts out more stress.  Also you can add your covid card and it works.

At ALL airports that I have seen and have "Clear" terminal it is always faster than TSA Pre Check.  Clear deposits you right into the scanner area ahead of those in line. 

A quick look at their web site now indicates that you only get expedited screening (ie Pre Check keep shoes on etc) If you have Pre Check also.  Essentially what it does is allow you to cut the line ahead of those waiting to first see the document checker.

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1 hour ago, Mark_A said:

My Amex card reimburses me for TSA PreCheck so it really doesn't cost me anything 🙂

Except the several hundred $$$ annual fee you pay for the card.  😃  I honestly hope you use the many other benefits you get with that fee and not just the PreCheck.  

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I'm a huge fan of global entry, only $15 more than TSA precheck ($3 more a year) and includes TSA pre-check and Sentri. TSA IS $85 but everything comes with global for $100 for 5 years and global gets you to breeze through customs. In little airports it's not as big of a deal but we live between 4 international airports (LAX, San Diego, Ontario and Orange County) and the international prices are usually best at LAX, sometimes by 30% but customs is atrocious (we've been in line for 2-3 hours after a 20 hour flight). While TSA/global is nice at regional or medium sized airports, total game changer at top ten in the world airport https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic

7 of the 10 are in the US, of course pandemic travel skewed things but atlanta, chicago, los angeles were pre pandemic powerhouses. Looking at the top 20 its all US and china plus mexico city, I was in mexico city a few weeks ago, its pretty efficient as are most of the top 20, phoenix, houston and vegas I think are great. But if you have to travel through Chicago, Atlanta or LA, get global entry. It's worth the in person interview to acquire it.

But i live close to mexico and have crossed via car and on foot at least once a year, sentri is a godsend, also included in global but not included with TSA. So if you only travel domestically then I guess TSA by itself saves you $3 a year, go for it, bit it's not for me as an a la carte purchase.

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5 hours ago, Temeculaguy said:

I'm a huge fan of global entry, only $15 more than TSA precheck ($3 more a year) and includes TSA pre-check and Sentri. TSA IS $85 but everything comes with global for $100 for 5 years and global gets you to breeze through customs. In little airports it's not as big of a deal but we live between 4 international airports (LAX, San Diego, Ontario and Orange County) and the international prices are usually best at LAX, sometimes by 30% but customs is atrocious (we've been in line for 2-3 hours after a 20 hour flight). While TSA/global is nice at regional or medium sized airports, total game changer at top ten in the world airport https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic

7 of the 10 are in the US, of course pandemic travel skewed things but atlanta, chicago, los angeles were pre pandemic powerhouses. Looking at the top 20 its all US and china plus mexico city, I was in mexico city a few weeks ago, its pretty efficient as are most of the top 20, phoenix, houston and vegas I think are great. But if you have to travel through Chicago, Atlanta or LA, get global entry. It's worth the in person interview to acquire it.

But i live close to mexico and have crossed via car and on foot at least once a year, sentri is a godsend, also included in global but not included with TSA. So if you only travel domestically then I guess TSA by itself saves you $3 a year, go for it, bit it's not for me as an a la carte purchase.

I've had GE for many years and I've never heard of Sentri !!  Is that something for the US/Mex border (kinda like Nexus) ?

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29 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

I've had GE for many years and I've never heard of Sentri !!  Is that something for the US/Mex border (kinda like Nexus) ?

Sort of with some minor differences.  Sentri is associated with the Southern border.  Nexus is for the Northern border.  Technically Sentri doesn't include travel by sea while Nexus does.  CBP recognizes both but the other nation doesn't.  i.e. Sentri means nothing to Canada CBSA while Nexus does mean something to CBSA.

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13 hours ago, Moby Dick said:

Except the several hundred $$$ annual fee you pay for the card.  😃  I honestly hope you use the many other benefits you get with that fee and not just the PreCheck.  

definitely.  I travel a lot both for work and personally so the lounge access is a big plus!

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8 minutes ago, Mark_A said:

definitely.  I travel a lot both for work and personally so the lounge access is a big plus!

Yep, my daughter and her husband utilize theirs a lot, too.  I don't think it is American Express though.  Whatever works though.

I'm the kinda guy that has to have the "latest and greatest", the most up to date electronic gadgets, etc.  I really wanted to get the Platinum card but I just don't travel enough by air to make it worth the $$$.  I try to drive EVERYWHERE!   

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On 7/15/2022 at 4:48 AM, WAAAYTOOO said:

I've had GE for many years and I've never heard of Sentri !!  Is that something for the US/Mex border (kinda like Nexus) ?

Sentri is the VIP of the southern border with Mexico, comes free with GE but not with TSA precheck. Only applies to land crossing on foot or by car so not everyone will benefit. In San Diego it's a big deal, but outside of border towns it's probably not that big of a deal. For us, El Valle de guadelupe is a foodie and wine region we like to visit and just an hour or so drive, if you go with another couple and you don't have sentri, you literally cant go in their car or all of you have to go in the regular lanes and wait hours. Same as on foot, non sentri people aren't invited or they slow up the group. It is hard to explain to people who don't live on a border. You get invited to events on both sides, botox is half the price, people without dental insurance or rx benefits go there for the deals, then there's just the weekend  or day trips. I realize it freaks some people out if you don't speak Spanish or only know what you read, but we live in a region with 3 million people on one side and another 2 million on the other, all within a few miles of each other. It's a region, yet two countries, its a New Jersey/New York or a Minneapolis/St paul or a Vancouver/Seattle. Being able to move between the two without hassle is a real convenience to locals but not to everyone else. Yet I still wonder why anyone would get TSA pre check and not spend the extra $15 to get GE, if just for the customs benefit for international flights.

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I travel for work frequently enough that having Global Entry (comes with TSA Pre) makes sense for the once or twice a year international trip and skipping the customs lines when coming back into the US (and for $15 extra, its a no-brainer).  The TSA Pre is valuable to me because, as a stocky gent, going through the body scanners has always flagged something that requires me to get the full frisk treatment pretty much every time I flew, not to mention, the lines stink in MCO, my home airport.

Now, I just take my phone and wallet and put them in my bag, take off my watch as well and drop my carry-on and back-pack on the belt.  Walk through the scanner (make sure to avoid bumping the sides as that makes it go off every time) and collect my things.  As people have been complaining about 45-60 min waits, I am frequently at the gate 20 mins after I park the car in the garage.  Time savings is huge and worth the $$!

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