The Travel Insider

TSA PreCheck & Global Entry: What you need to know
Elizabeth Bogrett

We’ve noticed that more of you are traveling these days, which means you’re probably running into longer security lines at the airports, right? A few programs can help you get through security quicker, and I am asked frequently about the differences between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.

Global Entry is not as well-known as TSA PreCheck. Probably because unlike TSA PreCheck, you don’t see it advertised every time you get anywhere near a security line.

And that’s too bad because Global Entry is the best buy if you travel internationally. Here’s why:

The similarities

  • Expedited screening through security.
  • Online application and in-person interview process.
  • Good for five years, once approved.


The differences

  • TSA PreCheck is best if you just travel within the continental U.S. Global Entry is good for both international and domestic travel
  • Global Entry expedites your return to the U.S. through customs. There is no paperwork, or worse—long zig-zagging lines through customs—a very big deal!
  • Global Entry status includes TSA PreCheck as a perk.
  • The Global Entry follow-up interview is handled at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection location at Denver International Airport. TSA PreCheck has more interview locations, including many AAA Colorado stores.
  • The cost of TSA PreCheck is $85, and Global Entry is $100.


To begin the process for either service, complete an online application. For TSA PreCheck, you can also simply show up at a TSA enrollment center or other location; however, we recommend an appointment if you go that route. After the initial application is processed and conditionally approved, you’ll be notified to appear in-person for a final interview, which usually lasts about 10–15 minutes.

Note: Make sure you bring ALL the requested forms and identification documents with you, and do not be late or you will have to reschedule! The time interval between your Global Entry online application and your appointment is typically from two to three weeks; however, in Colorado, there’s nearly a four-month wait.

AAA Connection

AAA Colorado has partnered with TSA PreCheck. For more information and to apply, visit To learn more and enroll in Global Entry, visit

Elizabeth Bogrett is the director of travel services for AAA Colorado.