Each week, The Nevada Sagebrush staff decides on a topic that is either overrated or underrated. Our opinion section then writes this column about the outcome. For suggestions for The Over/Under, tweet them to us @NevadaSagebrush.
Flying has become more tedious than convenient. Amidst cancellations, delays and never-ending security lines, the once quick transportation option has turned into a nightmare. The one upside of flying, and arguably one of the most underrated services is TSA Precheck. If you travel more than twice a year and don’t have TSA Precheck, you’re missing out on one of the most underrated services known to man.
Before Precheck existed, security lines were rough. Remove all of your belongings, get all of your mini liquids out of your bag and god forbid you forget your iPad in your carry on. Even if you followed all of the rules, there’s still a good chance you’d get a thorough pat down anyway. After you make it through security, you still have to sit and try to put your luggage back together while also making sure to grab your belongings. This takes up so much time, and if you’re a procrastinator, could even cause you to miss your flight.
TSA Precheck is a paid service that allows you to get out of the general security line and go into a quicker and less invasive security line. You don’t have to take your belongings out of your bag, and can leave your shoes and jackets on while you go through the metal detector. This is available since TSA does a complete thorough background check on people that are approved so they get an automatic fast-pass that bypasses long general security lines.
The application is completed in advance by going to a TSA office where they fingerprint you, run a background check and essentially make you sign your life away so in case you’re ever going to do something bad, they will know. This process usually takes less than an hour, and once you’re approved your traveling life will greatly improve.
The cost of a five-year TSA Precheck membership is $85. Five years of not worrying about being three hours early for a flight for security, not having to worry about losing your belongings, five years of not having to take off your shoes on unsanitary airport floors. At just $17 per year, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in TSA Precheck. No one wants to be that one group member who doesn’t have TSA Precheck and makes everyone else wait an additional 45 minutes to get through security. I would say take the “L” and get TSA Precheck, but when it’s this cheap, it’s definitely not a loss.
There’s really no downside to TSA Precheck, and it’s still shocking when people don’t utilize the service to the fullest extent. As you get older, you’re going to be traveling more. Do yourself a favor, stop being stubborn and get TSA Precheck.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Jacey Gonzalez is a student at the University of Nevada and studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.