We’ve Decided CLEAR Is Not Worth It For Us. Here’s Why…

Back in December, I finally signed us up for CLEAR. That’s the service that gives you an express lane access past the TSA ID checkpoint. I had a free trial membership with TripIt Pro for three months and a free family membership so I figured we’d give it a shot. Well it’s been over six months and I’ve been able to use the CLEAR lanes a couple of times. As of now, I just don’t see how it’s worth the extra money they charge for the service. There are several things that led to this conclusion.: Continue reading “We’ve Decided CLEAR Is Not Worth It For Us. Here’s Why…”

Newbies & Non-U.S. Citizens: TSA Pre-Check, Global Entry, CLEAR, NEXUS, Sentri: What’s The Best For You?

With more and more people traveling, depending on where in the U.S. you’re flying/driving/floating into or out of, the lines at TSA checkpoint and/or customs/immigration can be ridiculously long sometimes (I’m looking at you, Orlando International Airport, but there are others, too). Fortunately, there are ways to bypass the queues. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are several options of programs nowadays, some government-run, one not, and unless you sit down and read each one, it’s hard to decide if, or which one, you should consider. Hopefully, this will help.

Continue reading “Newbies & Non-U.S. Citizens: TSA Pre-Check, Global Entry, CLEAR, NEXUS, Sentri: What’s The Best For You?”

How To Help Avoid Getting A False Positive On TSA Swab Tests

If you’re traveling by plane in the United States, you know that sometimes you’ll get pulled aside for a “swab test.” Being a “chosen one” appears to be random (although some think it’s if you look suspicious or if a TSA officer still has to fill his/her quota for the day) and it’s certainly harmless enough – they swab your hands (and/or your laptop, shoes, film, cell phone, bags, wheelchair or cast) with a cotton cloth and check for explosive residue in an Explosives Trace Detector (ETD). If you’re negative, you’re free to go. But if you’re positive, you have to go to the next step of security.

The problem is, some people wind up with a false positive. Here’s why:
Continue reading “How To Help Avoid Getting A False Positive On TSA Swab Tests”

Orlando Int’l Airport: Effective Immediately, Allow At Least This Much Time For Ticketing + TSA Screening

Effective immediately, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is recommending that outbound passengers allow a minimum of two hours to get through ticketing and the TSA screening checkpoint.

Continue reading “Orlando Int’l Airport: Effective Immediately, Allow At Least This Much Time For Ticketing + TSA Screening”

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone In The Secure Area When Entering The U.S.

Getting off of an international flight has its own set of unique rules that are different for every country. For example, I was surprised when I saw that the United Kingdom allows you to use your cell phone while waiting in line to clear passport control, which was nice since the line at Heathrow for non-UK or EU residents was over 90 minutes long when we arrived. The only thing not allowed was the taking of pictures or video while in the secure area.

When entering the United States, the rules are quite different. You’re not allowed to use your phone or a camera AT ALL until you clear passport control, collect your bags and clear U.S. Customs. On my last flight, I found out what happens to someone who chooses to ignore that rule.

Continue reading “This Is Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone In The Secure Area When Entering The U.S.”