TSA PreCheck is a popular program that helps travelers mitigate delays and skip long lines at airport security. For $78, the program gives users five years of expedited screenings (and typically shorter lines) at hundreds of airports across the country.
So how many people use this program? Do users actually save time at the airport? Why don’t non-users enroll? To answer these questions and more, the FinanceBuzz team surveyed 1,500 people to get a better understanding of how travelers feel about TSA PreCheck.
- 92% of TSA PreCheck members say the cost of TSA PreCheck is worth its benefits.
- 64% of those without TSA PreCheck are willing or already planning to sign up for the program to reduce long lines for holiday travel.
- TSA PreCheck members say they experience shorter lines at the airport 65% of the time on average.
- TSA PreCheck members say they would pay an average of $224 for a membership — almost three times more than the actual price of $78.
Is TSA PreCheck worth the cost?
TSA PreCheck currently costs travelers a $78 fee for a five-year membership. That’s less than $16 per year for those enrolled in the program. But is it actually worth it?
According to users, the answer is a resounding yes. A whopping 92% of current TSA PreCheck enrollees said that the cost of the program is worth it for the time they save via shorter lines and expedited security procedures.
Survey resultOn average, TSA PreCheck holders said they would pay $224 for the service, almost three times the actual cost ($78).
In fact, 65% of TSA PreCheck users said that they would be willing to pay more than the current cost to remain enrolled in the program. On average, TSA PreCheck members said they would be willing to spend $224 for the same five-year membership, almost triple the actual price ($78).
Some credit cards cover TSA PreCheckMany credit cards offer TSA PreCheck reimbursements
to card members, so people used to getting TSA PreCheck for free may not be willing to pay a higher price.
How often does TSA PreCheck mean shorter lines?
TSA PreCheck’s primary benefit is access to a dedicated line at security. These lines are usually shorter than general security and they have expedited screening procedures, such as being able to keep your shoes on and not having to take your laptop out of your bag.
On average, current TSA PreCheck users said that they experience shorter lines at the airport 65% of the time. That means the program saves them time nearly two out of every three times they travel. Nearly one-third of current users (32%) said they experience shorter lines at least 80% of the time.
Why don’t more Americans have TSA PreCheck?
Only 22% of survey respondents indicated they’re enrolled in TSA PreCheck, meaning the majority of people surveyed (78%) don’t use the program. With current users expressing near-universal praise for TSA PreCheck, why aren’t more people enrolled?
When asked to name the reason(s) they’re not enrolled, 59% of people said they simply don’t fly often enough to warrant it. 24% of respondents said they’ve never considered it, while less than one-fifth of respondents (18%), said that TSA PreCheck is not worth the cost.
Are people willing to sign up for TSA PreCheck for holiday travel?
While many people say they do not fly often enough to make the process of enrolling worthwhile, we wanted to see if the prospect of long lines during holiday travel might impact how people view TSA PreCheck.
When asked whether or not they’d be willing to sign up for TSA PreCheck to reduce airport lines during holiday travel, most people who are not currently enrolled said yes. 55% of respondents said they’d consider signing up, and an additional 9% claimed they’re already planning to sign up.
Money-saving travel tips
While security lines can get particularly long during the holidays, air travel is expensive no matter when you fly. Here are a few tips to reduce stress and save money for your next trip to the airport:
- Earn rewards by booking travel with the right credit card. There are lots of credit cards that earn points or miles for booking flights, hotels, and more. One of the best travel credit cards can go a long way towards maximizing your rewards when on the go.
- Book your flight at the right time to get the best price. Flight tickets fluctuate over time, and it can be difficult to know exactly when is the best time to buy. Thankfully, Hopper can help travelers figure out when to buy flight tickets by using AI, data, and proprietary algorithms.
- Enroll in TSA PreCheck to save time at the airport. As mentioned, TSA PreCheck is a relatively affordable way to save time when traveling. For anyone looking for more information about the program, see our guide to everything you need to know about TSA PreCheck.
FinanceBuzz surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults on October 13, 2022. Questions about satisfaction with the TSA PreCheck program and its costs were only asked to respondents that indicated they are currently enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program (22% of all respondents).