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…”

Should You Get a U.S. Passport Card?

You know what documents you need to get on an airplane. For most people in the U.S., you show your driver’s license to the TSA agent at the checkpoint. If you’re taking an international flight, you’ll have your passport with you and might use that instead. The TSA currently allows many different forms of identification to get past the security checkpoint. Here’s the list from tsa.gov:

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

I’ve seen U.S. passport cards before but never thought they were good for much. When my dad showed me he had gotten one, I thought it was a waste of money since he also got his passport at the same time.

What can you use a U.S. passport card for, anyway?

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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:
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