For the uninitiated, TSA PreCheck is A) a thing you should acquire, immediately, and B) an expedited screening program that allows low-risk travelers to pass through checkpoints at light speed . Available at 200 airports across the country, it’s offered through the government and costs $85 for five years (although some credit cards waive the fee as a member benefit). As of this past September, there were nearly 11 million active TSA PreCheck members across the country.
And now — PreCheck members rejoice — that program is expanding into international territory for the very first time. Earlier this week, the agency announced that TSA PreCheck will now be available at Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, for those traveling back to the U.S.
“This has been an excellent partnership throughout the trial period at Lynden Pindling International Airport, and it serves as a model for further extending TSA PreCheck. Permanently opening this TSA PreCheck lane for travelers who join the risk-based program is a credit to the Government of The Bahamas and the commitment of the officers who are maintaining the highest standards of transportation security,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
Per TSA’s statement, Nassau was selected because it is currently one of just 16 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) international Preclearance locations (the others are Dublin and Shannon in Ireland; Aruba; Freeport in The Bahamas; Bermuda; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg in Canada) in which CBP personnel inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. With Preclearance, travelers are allowed to bypass both CBP and TSA inspections upon U.S. arrival and proceed directly to their connecting flight or destination.
It’s important to note that Preclearance and TSA PreCheck are not exactly the same thing. In the case of the former, inspections take place at a foreign location prior to arriving back into the U.S.; TSA PreCheck, meanwhile, allows expedited clearance through airport security for pre-approved travelers on both domestic and international departures.
All of this to say: flight to and from Nassau will now feature both.
While TSA has in recent years expanded to include more carriers — including international ones like LATAM Airlines Group, TAM-Linhas Aereas S.A., LAN Peru S.A. and Aerolane Lineas Aereas Nacionales del Ecuador — this is the first time the agency has expanded internationally in the literal sense. But it also stands to reason that there may be plans for more locations to open in the future, too. So, if you still have yet to enroll, we’d recommend that you go ahead and do that … if for no other reason than you don’t have to take your shoes off at the airport.
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