With more and more people traveling, the queues at the TSA security checkpoint as getting longer and longer. Waits of 30+ minutes are not unusual and those will only get worse as we approach spring break, Easter, Memorial Day and then (dun dun DUNNNNNN!) summer vacation season.
We wrote the other day how 7 airports in 6 states were now offering FREE (except one, that’s not free, but cheap) “skip the regular queue options” to help ease some of the congestion.
If you’re flying out of one of those 7 airports and don’t have TSA PreCheck or CLEAR, these options could potentially save you a whole lot of time, depending on how long the queues are prior to your flight. However, heads up that none of these new options work in conjunction with TSA PreCheck or CLEAR. So if you have either of those, you’re welcome to use the new options, but they won’t save you any extra time (and if you have TSA PreCheck, you’ll be back to removing your computer and liquids, taking off your shoes, etc.).
That being said, there are some updates to both TSA PreCheck and CLEAR that could make some passengers very happy:
The TSA announced late last week that its PreCheck expedited screening program is expanding again. Effective March 3, Viva has been added to the list of airlines that can be used in conjunction with PreCheck. This brings the number of airlines participating with PreCheck to 82.
From the TSA (press release dated March 3):
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today the expansion of its TSA PreCheck® expedited screening program with the addition of Viva Air. The airline is based in Colombia and currently serves Orlando International Airport and Miami International Airport.
Viva began 9 years ago as a low-cost carrier. Originally known as “Viva Colombia,” they changed their name to “Viva Air” in 2017, and featured flights in and between Colombia and Peru. On its 9th anniversary (June 4, 2021), it changed yet again, this time as a new company, and switched from “Viva Air” to just “Viva” (ahem…apparently the TSA didn’t get that memo. Their press release referred to it as Viva Air LOL!)
Here’s Viva’s current route map, compliments of FlightConnections.com. Their flights to/from MCO and MIA could potentially be handy for those interested in direct flights to/from Medellin (and from there, Peru, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Cancun, Mexico City, San Andres, and multiple other cities in Colombia).
Slowly but surely, CLEAR continues to expand to stadiums and, most importantly for travelers, airports across the country. In the past few months, CLEAR has established or expanded a presence at airports in the following states:
CALIFORNIA – Tom Bradley Terminal of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
FLORIDA – Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
OHIO – John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
NEW JERSEY – Newark Liberty International Airport’s (EWR) Terminal B
MASSACHUSETTS – Boston Logan International Airport’s (BOS) Terminal B
CLEAR’s website has more info.