Our Blog

How To Skip The Lines At The Airport

airport line

Doesn’t it drive you NUTS… You stand in line at the ticket counter, then the security line, and don’t forget about the customs line!!!!!!

Then all of a sudden, a guy in a business suite walks by everyone and passes through the same security gate that you’re at.. He doesn’t have to remove his shoes (F#$@ that shoe bomber), doesn’t have to take off his belt or even takes his computer out of the bag!

Who is this guy? He must be some big shot. NOPE…. he just knows how to play the game.

That’s what I’m going to teach you… the game. We had to call Canadian AND US customs just to figure out what the differences were in all of the different programs. Unfortunately, not even the agents who give the interviews are misinformed.


1. TSA Pre-check

The benefits of TSA Pre-Check are excellent. It is currently available at 200 airports.

In 2019, 93% of folks who had this clearance waited less than 5 minutes in line at the security gate.

You can keep your belt and shoes on, and leave electronics in their cases.

To obtain a clearance you must apply and complete an interview at an enrollment center (basically any large airport).

This clearance is available for $85 (Good for 5 years) for anyone 13-years or older.

Children 12-years or under must be accompanied by someone with the clearance.

airport line
airport line
The awesome part about Global Entry is that is INCLUDES TSA Pre-Check and also good for 5 years!

ANOTHER BENEFIT is that a few of the better credit cards will reimburse your $100 fee IF you put that fee on that credit card. Click Here To Apply.

2. Global Entry

The main difference between this and TSA Pre-Check, is that Global Entry will get you through the customs line when you travel outside the US by land, air, or sea.

Before I learned my travel hacks, every time I took my wife and 3 boys to the Caribbean we would have to wait no less than 1.5 hours.

That’s 1.5 hours less that I got to drink margaritas on the beach… NO THANK YOU!

If you have the Global Entry Clearance, you can walk right by the line to the kiosk and pass through in approximately 5-10 minutes.

The downfall to Global entry is that it only includes you, no children, so they would have to wait in the line alone.

The cost is $100 per clearance, totaling $500 for my family… That’s a little steep.

To obtain this clearance you must have a passport and apply online HERE!

Once approved, you have to complete a face-to-face interview at an approved airport (Most large airports offer the interview)

3. Nexus

Have you ever waited to cross the Canadian border… sometimes it takes HOURS!

Nexus will get you in and out of Canada in about 5-10 minutes by allowing access to the “fast-lane” through special bridges and lanes.

It is good for 5 years and the cost is only $50! The best part is that any child under 18-years-old can get a Nexus card FOR FREE! (They will still have to fill out an application)

With a Nexus clearance, it INCLUDES Global Entry AND TSA Pre-Check!! Sounds like a no-brainer’, doesn’t it? The only thing you need is access to a computer and a passport.

Here is the kicker… to obtain a Nexus clearance you must apply online and then complete an interview in person at one of these US/Canadian border centers….

airport line

U.S. Nexus Enrollment Centers:

  • Blaine, Washington
  • Calais, Maine
  • Champlain, New York
  • Derby Line, Vermont
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • International Falls, Minnesota
  • Niagara Falls, New York
  • Pembina, North Dakota
  • Port Huron, Michigan
  • Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Sweetgrass, Montana
  • Warroad, Minnesota

So… which clearance is the best for you? It depends…

The question is why wouldn’t everyone just apply for Nexus? The answer is because the oral interview has to be completed at a US/Canadian border, so why would someone in Las Vegas or Texas fly to the northern border to get a nexus pass for $50, when they can go to the nearest large airport and pay $100 for a global entry card.

This is why Global Entry is double the cost at $100 because the government knows that most people are not going to do that, it’s a money grab. If you live near the northern border AND/OR have children, Nexus is the best option in my opinion.

Join The Academy

For Travel Hacks, Debt Management, Credit Advice, Lifestyle & Family Tips, and MORE!