How to Cut the Security Line at the Airport

By Leah Bourne, The Vivant
Security line at JFK International Aiport in New York City. So you love to travel? Join the club. Love standing in those epically long security lines, taking off your shoes, and unpacking your suitcase for all to see? Not so much. You aren't alone. Here, some tips for cutting the security line.


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1. Pay To Enroll in a PreCheck Program: Anyone can apply for the Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI programs. Global Entry, the most popular of the programs, costs $100 to enroll in. If you're granted membership, you'll automatically be opted-in to PreCheck and can use it when flying participating airlines. So what exactly does that mean? You'll get expedited in the security line, and will only have to pass through a metal detector, so basically its like flying in 1982, in the best possible way.

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2. Be Invited to Enroll as a Frequent Flyer: Another way to enroll in the PreCheck program is to be invited by an airline that you are a frequent flyer of. Alaska Air, American, Delta, United, and US Airways currently participate in the Security Administration's PreCheck program.

3. Pay For VIP Status: At a growing number of airports, special agents meet celebrities, high-powered executives, and wealthy vacationers at the curb, and will privately escort them from check-in to security to boarding. Yes, this is actually a thing, and boy are we jealous of all who are partaking. American's program, Five Star Service, costs between $125 and $275 for the first passenger, depending on the airport. Each additional adult is $75, and children are $50 extra, to give you a sense of the pricing.

4. Pay To Stand in the Elite Line: Not willing to spend that much money, but looking to shorten your time in the security line? Most airlines will allow you to pay from $20 to $40 to stand in the elite security line, which is often much shorter than the regular security line.

5. Under 12, Over 75 Years of Age, or a Military Person:
Lucky you, if you are in either of these age groups, or in the military. You will basically be treated like a PreCheck traveler while traveling.

6. Reserve Your Spot in Line: Passengers using Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International can enter their flight number on the airport's website and receive a text message with a reserved time for a designated checkpoint. Travelers show up at their assigned time window and use the text message as a ticket to enter the SecurXpress priority line. Expect services like this to begin to roll-out to more and more airports in the coming year, so watch this space.

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