Navigate airport security with ease
Since this is my first column on travel for the Vail Daily, allow me to introduce myself to readers and what you’ll be seeing in Trip Tips.
My name is Gail Molloy, and since my first flight as a stewardess to Paris on Pan Am in 1968, I have been in love with travel.
We opened Overland Express Travel in 1971, and I have been planning trips ever since. I get a lot of questions on a daily basis, and I would like to pass these answers and trip tips on to readers in the future.
If you have any questions you’d like answered, you can send them to my email at email@example.com.
My first trip tip is an often-asked question about how to manage airport security efficiently.
Many of us like to travel, but nobody likes the headache of navigating security at the airport.
Q: What can we do about those never-ending lines for security at the airport?
A: Apply for a TSA Pre-Check, which allows expedited screening benefits. You can leave on your shoes, lightweight outerwear and belts, as well as leaving laptops and compliant liquids in carry on bags. Plus, there are now 40 TSA Pre-Check lane locations for the use of qualified Pre-Check passengers.
Q: How do I apply for Pre-Check?
A: To apply, fill out an online application at TSA (www.tsa.org), which will allow you to make an appointment at a TSA Pre-Check enrollment center. Most major airports (including Denver) have these centers. The cost is $85, and you do not need a passport. This vetting process takes about two to three weeks.
Q: How does the airline know that I am a Pre-Check member?
A: You will be given a number that you put into your airline reservation for “known travelers.” Your boarding pass will be printed out with the Pre-Check authorization and embedded in the bar code of your passenger boarding pass.
Q: How hard is it to get this approval?
A: The TSA really does a complete background check. If some odd question comes up, you then can ask for mitigation. I had a client who was questioned for a discrepancy that happened in high school! However, it was mitigated and he received clearance.
Q: What about the other program called “GOES” or Global Online Enrollment System (www.cbp.gov)?
A: If you apply for a GOES card, which costs $100, you will be entitled to go through a fast lane when re-entering the U.S. for immigration and customs. You must have a valid passport to apply for this, and it will automatically include a TSA Pre-Check enrollment.
To ask Gail a travel question, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll find the answer. Gail Malloy has helped travelers at Overland Express Travel, located in Edwards, since 1971.