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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trusted Traveler program eliminates airport security lines

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  photo and The Clark Howard Show offer more money-saving advice for travelers.

By Clark Howard

Security lines can be the most annoying part of travel. Sometimes you just cruise through that line. But recently, I spent an hour and ten minutes waiting! The industry really needs to improve the process.

To that end, the TSA is finally doing something about it with their long-overdue Trusted Traveler program. In just weeks, a pre-check plan will be available for most domestic travelers. After you get a background check, you'll pay just $17 a year upfront to be able to go through expedited lines for domestic travel. When applications become available online, we'll update this article to include direct links.

Do you travel internationally? If so, for $15 more, you'll want to apply for security clearance through the Global Entry program instead.  This is an existing security program I have belonged to for years, and it has become a real time saver for me.  You have to go through an in-person meeting with an immigration officer, a background check, fingerprinting and eyescans, but once you're through, you can bypass immigration lines when checking into other countries. You'll also be able to take advantage of pre-check lines at major airport terminals across the U.S.

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