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2 Major Budget Airlines Join TSA PreCheck

If you’ve ever excitedly booked a cheap transatlantic flight on a budget airline only to realize you’ll pay in airport time spent waiting in a long, non-PreCheck security line, rejoice: The chances of that happening just got slimmer. Two popular foreign budget airlines now participate in TSA PreCheck: Norwegian Air and Icelandair. This means PreCheck travelers booked on either airline can use the PreCheck lane, where available, when departing from the U.S.

[st_related]TSA PreCheck Lanes Could Soon (Finally) Be for PreCheck Members Only[/st_related]

Notably, these are both international carriers, meaning the PreCheck benefits are only one-way. This decision has no bearing on return flights from Europe, since travelers will go through security in Europe and then through customs back in the States. In addition to these two international budget airlines, regional U.S. carrier ViaAir will also join PreCheck in November.

This does, however, mean Global Entry travelers will enjoy expedited services both ways. Global Entry includes all PreCheck benefits, and adds on streamlined customs services when re-entering the U.S.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry

If you’re not familiar, TSA PreCheck grants expedited security screening at hundreds of U.S. airports when you fly domestically with dozens of airlines. Members can pass through an airport security lane without taking off shoes, removing any electronics or liquids from bags, or taking off accessories like belts or jackets. The TSA says that, on average, PreCheck travelers wait less than five minutes to pass through security.

Global Entry includes all of those benefits and, for only $15 more, adds expedited re-entry to the United States via kiosks at passport control—no paperwork or processing lines.

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By Carl Unger

Contributing Editor Carl Unger believes that every trip is worth taking. He loves an extended trip to Europe as much as he enjoys exploring the towns and landscape near home. Basically, you'll find him wherever there is good food, fresh air, and plenty of stories to bring home.

Carl has been writing for SmarterTravel since 2005. His travel writing has also appeared on USA Today and the About.com Boston travel guide.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "It's not revolutionary, but a small Moleskine notebook is my one travel must-have. It's great for noting things you want to remember and it takes up hardly any space in your bag."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Japan. I'd love to take a month off and visit the cities, temples, and countryside. I'm fascinated by the country's juxtaposition of ancient traditions and modern ambitions."

Travel Motto: “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” –Terry Pratchett

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window."

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