With the numbers of travelers increasing steadily, so are the lines and wait times at airport security. In recent years U.S. airports and airlines have seen the implementation of a number of different programs to help frequent (and not so frequent) flyers breeze through the different checkpoints. Another great time saver is to arrange the transportation, saving you a ton of time on parking, and also adding the convenience of getting dropped off and picked up right outside the terminal door.
This program offers access to dedicated security lines with much shorter lines than the regular ones. According to tsa.gov In October 2018, most TSA Pre-Check passengers enjoyed a wait time of less than 5 minutes! Additionally, passengers who are part of the TSA Pre-Check are not required to remove their belts, laptops, liquids, light jackets, or shoes (which is another time saver). It's currently available at over 200 different airports within the United States, and offered to U.S. citizens, nationals and permanent residents.
Eligibility: open to all U.S. citizens, and certain foreign citizens, depending on certain requirements for citizenship and residency requirements
Application: online at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/, followed by an in-person interview including a background check and fingerprinting
Cost: $85 for a 5-year membership. Children 12 years and under may use the program for free with an enrolled family member
This program offers expedited clearance at the majority of U.S. airports' customs and border checkpoints, as well as those in a select number of international airports. Unlike the TSA Pre- Check, all travelers regardless of their age must have their own Global Entry membership. For children under the age of 18, parental or legal guardian's consent is required to participate (however they do not need to be a Global Entry member).
Eligibility: open to all U.S. citizens, and certain foreign citizens, depending on certain requirements for citizenship
Application: online at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/, followed by an in-person interview including a background check and fingerprinting
Cost: $100 for a 5-year membership
This program allows you to use your biometrics like your fingerprints and irises to verify your identity (instead of the traditional passport and/or license). This allows you to skip the long ID check lines, and head directly for the security check. It's currently available at over 35 locations in the United States, and constantly expanding.
Eligibility: open to all U.S. citizens, and permanent residents above the age of 18, with a valid photo ID
Application: online at https://www.clearme.com/enroll
Cost: $179 per year
This is the ultimate time saver when it comes to getting you to and from the airport. Booking an airport car service is not only convenient, as it allows you to be dropped off right outside the terminal door, and picked up inside by the baggage claim, but can also be very cost efficient, especially on longer trips when airport parking can end up costing you a fortune.
Cost: Orlando Limo offers Orlando Airport transportation starting at $65, for a premium sedan that can fit up to 4 passengers.
This one is a bit of a hidden gem. A lot of people think it's only for frequent flyers, or people with no checked luggage, but lately, a lot of airlines have started offering online check-in for all their passengers. Not only does it save you time, but it's a lot more convenient since you can provide all your details in the comfort of your home (or hotel room, if you're already traveling), pick your favorite seat, and have yet one less thing on your to-do list when you get to the airport. As an added bonus, it can even reduce the risk of getting bumped due to an oversold flight, especially since many carriers now offer online check-in up to 48 hours in advance. Why not take advantage of it?!
Cost: best of all, none!
Bonus Tip: Combine Them!
If you're really looking to save time and breeze through it all, your best option is of course to combine these services. Imagine an airport limo service dropping you off outside the terminal, you're already checked in, head for the CLEAR station, where you don't need to take out your ID, then a security check with your shoes and belt on, laptop in bag, and no wait time. At your destination, a driver is waiting for you inside the terminal, with a car parked just outside.
Just remember that Global Entry actually includes the TSA Pre-Check, meaning that if you're part of the Global Entry program, you're automatically also enrolled in the TSA Pre-Check program, however, it does not work the other way around.
For more information on transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, and Sanford International Airport, check out our article on Orlando Airport Transportation, which will give you a great overview of Orlando Airport Car Services.
These are some of our favorite pro tips to help you save time and reduce the stress that so many of us experience when traveling. What are some of your traveling hacks and pro tips? Let us know in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you!