My friend Judy first encouraged me to use the STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) when we traveled together in 2017.
Travelers can apply for any of five Trusted Traveler Programs by visiting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website. These programs allow members to use expedited lanes at the U.S. airports, and when crossing international borders.
Two of those programs are TSA Pre✓® and Global Entry.
With the 5-year TSA Pre✓® Program ($85), travelers can speed through security without having to remove their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets.
I learned recently that, in addition to adding your Known Traveler Number (KTN) to your reservation, it’s best to confirm that the number was picked up in the booking when you check in to receive your boarding pass. Otherwise, you may find yourself standing in line with the rest of the masses.
Global Entry provides the TSA Pre✓® benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States. Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership.
To find the best program for you, use the Department of Homeland Security’s interactive Trusted Traveler tool.