Expect More Scrutiny From the TSA
Enroll in one of these programs to skip longer lines at airport security.
If you're flying this summer, get to the airport early. The Transportation Security Administration is beefing up security measures, and that could lead to longer lines. In addition to requiring you to remove laptops, tablets and e-readers from your carry-ons, TSA officers may also ask you to take out books, food and other items that obstruct their view during screening.
To bypass the lines, enroll in TSA PreCheck ($85 for five years). Or, if you plan to travel outside the U.S., enroll in Global Entry ($100 for five years). Some rewards credit cards will refund the cost. Most cards that offer this benefit have an annual fee, but the new no-fee PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card offers reimbursement of up to $100 every five years for a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application (see The Best Rewards Card for You). You may also be able to pay with hotel rewards points. Marriott Rewards and IHG Rewards allow members to buy TSA PreCheck through their websites.
Go to www.tsa.gov/precheck (or www.cbp.gov/travel for Global Entry) to start an application and find an enrollment center. If you can't find one nearby, check your local Staples. The retailer plans to open 50 enrollment centers in its stores this summer.