TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Programs

August 9th, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Transportation Security Administration TSA, Travel Tips, Value of Using a Travel Professional

Intriguing Travels

Bridal Show Downtown Indy

Bridal Show Downtown Indy

Hello Everyone,

Happy Summer!  A few weeks ago, we  had a booth at the 317 Bridal Show downtown in the Fountain Square Theatre.  It was a small, intimate show.  The venue was spectacular!  I felt like I was in an Italian Village.

I have to confess that I was dreading giving up a Sunday in the middle of Summer.  It was difficult to tear myself away from the outdoors.

As the day became increasingly  hot & humid, I began to enjoy the surroundings of the Theatre Venue.  It turned out to be a gift. I especially enjoyed having a little more time to get to know some lovely Brides to be!  There were a few brave Grooms who attended as well as a lot of  the proud Moms of both.

Whether I have the privilege to help them all plan their Destination Wedding or Honeymoon in the future, I did have the privilege of meeting some wonderful people.  That allowed me a little peak into the excitement of what their future holds.

For that experience, I am grateful.

Tina

With all of the additional security measures, frequent travelers are looking for ways to decrease their wait time going through the check points at airports.  Did you know that the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has multiple programs that are designed to help you get through customs and airport security lines.

2014-03-13 17.37.52Some are more limited in scope.  For example, Nexus and Sentry are applicable for travel between the US and Canada and Mexico.  If you travel with some frequency, it might be worth your while to look into some of these programs. The Transportation and Security Administration uses their  TSA PreCheck  program  https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck .  This format was designed to help expedite the security check process at airports for qualifying participants.

Participants have to apply and receive a KTN (Known Traveler Number).  They will still be reviewed on a case by case basis. The KTN can also be known as the Trusted Traveler Number.   According the the tsa.gov website, “Eleven carriers participate in TSA Pre✓®: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. TSA Pre✓® operations are available at more than 120 U.S. airports.”

As a broad overview, the TSA PreCheck program can be used for domestic travel as well as departures for International Flights.  The review process by TSA occurs every time you fly.  An approval code is incorporated into the traveler’s bar code of their boarding pass.  They may proceed to the TSA PreCheck after their boarding pass has been scanned and approved.

The Global Entry program helps speed up the process upon re-entry into the United States through Customs.  Participants are able to use Global Entry Kiosks set up at the airport which allows them to skip the lines going through Customs.  It is my understanding that Global Entry participants are part of the pre-check program based on their Global Entry status.  They are eligible for TSA PreCheck benefits.  However, it is best to confirm this when applying for the program.

The Global Entry program seems to have a much more in depth application process which requires a background check as well as personal interview before possibility of approval.  Members will be asked to present their passport as well as scan their fingerprints at the Global Entry Kiosk at the airport.  Global Entry helps navigate the Customs process while TSA PreCheck helps with security lines.

To obtain more information regarding this and other trusted traveler programs, check out http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry.

The extra security measures have been implemented for the safety of all travelers.  Indeed, it does take more time and can be inconvenient to fly these days.  Programs such as these are designed to help us navigate the security maze as quickly as possible.  Hopefully, we will get better with the overall process.  Somehow I don’t seen to mind the inconvenience as much when I think of the alternative.

Safe Travels!

If you would like help in planning your next trip, please contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com  or call her at 317-660-2080.

Airport Tips

August 6th, 2014 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Packing Tips, Transportation Security Administration TSA, Travel Tips

Intriguing Travels

Bellagio MeHello Everyone,

Last week was a bit hectic as I traveled to Vegas for Destination Wedding “Boot Camp.”  It was one day of meetings and the next of touring properties.  The fun part!

Las Vegas is one of the top Wedding  destinations in the world.  Yes, there is something for everyone.   We focused on the more elegant venues and options although we did visit a new non-for-profit museum recently curated – “The Neon Museum” or Boneyard.  They hold guided tours of these iconic, retired neon signs of Vegas past.  It is becoming a popular site for tourists and locals alike.  What surprised me the most was that the museum has quite a few venues for Wedding Ceremonies and receptions.  That town never ceases to amaze me:)

On the other end of the spectrum, we were the first group of travel professionals to visit the newly remodeled Wedding Salon at the Wynn Las Vegas.  Can I just say that it was stunningly beautiful with neutral, yet alluring color schemes.  I am a fan.

Gratefully,

Tina

It is like a game every time I arrive at the airport.   How fast can I get through the check point!  It has taken me a while to realize that the best time to start that challenge is BEFORE I arrive at the airport.  Actually, a week before.  I thought that I would share a few tips – some that I’ve learned on my own and some that are on the Transportation Security Administration website.  http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/how-get-through-line-faster

Tina's LuggageORGANIZE

*  I always roll my clothing.  Start with heavier items and place them in your suitcase.

*  Shoes can be tucked away on the sides of your suitcase.

*  Smaller electronic items like smartphones and Kindles can stay packed in your carry on.  They don’t need to be taken out to be screened.

* It is recommended that you pack all of your electronics in your carry on bag versus checked-in luggage.

*  Your laptop needs to be viewed separately.  TSA Officers are looking for ones that might have been tampered with and have been trained to do so.

*  Organize your carry on items beforehand so that it is easy and quick for you to separate the electronics and liquids.  You’ll need to pull them out separately to be screened as you go through the airport check point.

PREPARE

*  The following comes directly from the TSA website above:    ” 3-1-1 for carry-ons. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.”

They will consider allowing certain liquids, such as breast milk,  in slightly larger quantities but they must be declared ahead of time.

*  Be prepared to have a gift unwrapped if you are traveling with one.  If you are bringing a gift, consider packing tape and flat sheets of wrapping paper or better yet, a gift bag.  Don’t wrap gifts a head of time.

*  It is also a good idea to check their website for prohibited items.  Most of us know that knives and other sharp objects are not allowed.  Interestingly, disposable razors are allowed on carry on luggage.  Some non-fuel lighters are allowed but others are restricted.

*  Many items are not allowed for you to carry-on but are allowed to be packed in your checked-in luggage.  A few examples would be baseball bats, golf clubs and  Gel-type candles.  The TSA has a downloadable brochure of prohibited items for your review.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

*  Funny how this applies to so many things in life!  To make things easier when traveling, try to keep your pockets empty.  You will be asked to remove their contents to go through screening.

*  As long as you do not have a disability preventing you from doing so, you will need to remove your shoes.  Think about wearing shoes that are easy to slip on and off.  If wearing sandals, you may want to pack a pair of socks so that you are not walking barefoot through the screening process.

*  Remember that certain body piercings may set off the screening  machine.  You may be asked to step aside so the issue can be investigated further, taking up more of your time.

The most frustrating thing is to be pulled out of line for extra screening or to unpack your carry-on because of something YOU have packed that is not allowed.

For the most part, the TSA Officers want us to get through just as quickly as we do.  We make our travel experience and their jobs that much easier if we take a little time ahead of time to educate ourselves to properly plan what we pack.

If you are a frequent traveler, you can sign up to receive email updates from the Transportation Security Administration.

Happy Travels!

If  you are planning a trip, feel free to contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080 for a complimentary consultation!