|It’s likely that you’ve heard of a quicker way to get through security at the airport but what are the differences between Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, CLEAR and Mobile Passport? They all have the same end result of saving you time spent in lines at the airport, but each serves a different purpose depending on your budget, personal preference, and citizenship.|
Mobile Passport Control This FREE app for U.S. passport holders is used to expedite entry into the U.S. when returning from an international trip. After creating a profile in the app, you’ll take a selfie and answer some questions. You’ll then receive a receipt with a QR code to be scanned by an officer. Many travelers find the MPC app to be nearly as quick as Global Entry – so if you don’t plan on paying for a program that includes TSA PreCheck, this is Awesome!
CLEAR Kiosks at the security line verify who you are with the touch of your fingertips or a scan of your eyes, sending you straight to the front of security without having to show photo ID. From there you’ll go through standard security screening unless you also have TSA PreCheck. Enrollment can be done on the spot in about five minutes and can be used immediately. The cost for CLEAR is $179/year, but while they’re still growing and are currently only available at a total of about 50 airports, stadiums and venues – it’s easy to receive a discount. Delta Diamond Medallion members can enroll at no charge. Delta SkyMiles members can enroll for $119/year.
TSA PreCheck Access a separate line at airport security, which is generally quicker than the standard line and does not require you to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, belt or light jacket. TSA PreCheck is available at 200 airports, and there’s a number of credit card companies with a loyalty program that may cover some or all of the $85 fee for a 5-year membership. If you have a passport, we recommend you apply for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck, since it’s only $15 more and includes TSA Precheck.
Global Entry The purpose of this program is to expedite pre-approved, low-risk travelers back into the U.S. after taking an international trip. Avoid the line by checking in at a kiosk that scans your passport and fingerprints to clear customs and immigration. The cost is $100 for a 5-year membership, which includes TSA PreCheck. When you sign up with your Amex Platinum card, you can get a $100 credit on your account to cover the cost.
- FYI: NEXUS and SENTRI are two alternate programs for entering the U.S. that also include TSA PreCheck. NEXUS allows entry to the U.S. from Canada or to Canada from the U.S., and SENTRI allows entry to the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. The only reason we would recommend these programs instead of Global Entry is if you’re not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or other qualifying country, or if you do not have a passport, which is a requirement for Global Entry. SENTRI costs more than Global Entry, and the only enrollment centers are in AZ, CA and TX, but NEXUS is only $50 for adults and is free for children under the age of 18. The downside to NEXUS is that most interview locations are in Canada, or northern states such as MT, ND, MI, MN, NY and ME.
Once you’ve received your Known Traveler Number, let us know and we’ll include it in every reservation.