I’m traveling this summer. I’m flying into Detroit in June to drive around the middle east coast with my mother and sister. This trip is confirmed. I already have a plane ticket. I also might be flying to Seattle in August to visit my bestie and check out the Pacific northwest. It’s all part of my relocation plan. I’ve got to start narrowing down where I want to live when I finally leave Los Angeles.
Because I hate waiting in line, I decided to get TSA PreCheck. If you’re American, you travel by plane a fair bit, and you’re not a terrorist, you should probably get it done. It means you can skip the huge airport security line and go to a smaller one. Plus, you get the following benefits:
It costs $85, but once you’re background checked and approved, it lasts for 5 whole years. It seems like a good deal to me. It’s kind of like how you can walk into the DMV without an appointment and wait in the always interminable line if you want. However, you can also make an appointment at the same DMV, walk right in, and get served almost immediately (in California anyway), so why wouldn’t you? I’m not much of a planner, but I always make an appointment at the DMV, so it also makes sense that I would get TSA PreCheck.
I made an appointment for TSA PreCheck. It’s fairly serious business. You have to show several forms of identification, they fingerprint you, and take your picture. The whole process took less than 15 minutes and I didn’t even have to take my shoes off.
I’m not too terribly worried about my fingerprints going into national databases like IAFIS to search for criminals, because my fingerprints are already in at least one database as a gun owner. Plus, I’m not a criminal. Not that that seems to matter all that much to the American justice system since there are so many innocent people in prison, but since my fingerprints are already databased, that ship has sailed.
They tell you the following on the website and in person: “TSA is experiencing a high volume of TSA PreCheck Application enrollments. Most applicants receive their Known Traveler Number (KTN) in 3-5 days, though some applications can take up to 60 days.”
The bit where it says “can take up to 60 days” made me worry some that I wouldn’t get my Known Traveler Number in time for my trip in June.
My PreCheck appointment was last week. I gave it a week or so and checked my email just on the off chance that they had processed me and I saw this:
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reviewed your submission to the TSA PreCheck Application program and determined you are eligible for the Program. As a result, TSA will issue you a Known Traveler Number (KTN) for you to use when making flight reservations.”
It took barely two days! I said to my sister that “it’s almost embarrassing how little of a security risk I am. I guess it’s a good thing, but I’d like to think I’m a bit more dangerous than 2 days.”
With as much shite as I have in my past, you’d think it would take longer than 2 days to clear me. I am a gun owner. I’ve spent the night in jail. I’ve called the police before. I’ve gone to court. Yet, a government agency decided in less than 2 days that I no longer have to take my shoes off at the airport. It makes me wonder how much of my 2-day processing is because I’m a white female.
That said, all of my dangerous activities are well and truly in the past. Most of those things happened so long ago that they’re probably not even in my homeland security file anymore. It’s probably only a few paragraphs. These days, I am not a security risk. I haven’t even so much as gotten a traffic ticket in over a decade (knock on wood).
Like I said to my sister, it’s a good thing that I’m not seen as a threat, but a small part of me is whining and raging inside at just how boring I’ve become. Sigh.