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How to avoid long airport lines this holiday season

If you were one of the 3.55 million Americans that AAA estimated would be flying for Thanksgiving, chances are you waited in some lines at the airport. 

If that’s something you don’t like to do, now is the perfect time to consider applying for TSA Pre-Check status, especially if you plan to fly during the December holidays.

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Eligible flyers who are approved for the expedited screening program wait in the airport security line less than 5 minutes, on average, according to the Transportation Security Administration’s website

The process is simple: Apply online and schedule an appointment at an enrollment center where you’ll present your passport or other official ID, get fingerprinted and be interviewed in a matter of minutes. Dayton’s enrollment center is located on Webster Street near Fifth Third Field. 

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After a background check is conducted, you’ll be contacted whether you’re approved. Either way, the process costs $85. If approved, you’ll receive a unique KTN (Known Traveler Number), which is good for 5 years. The background check process can take up to 30 days, but I was approved in less than a week after my in-person interview. 

Once you have your KTN number, submit it when booking a flight to go through the TSA Pre-Check line. That means you’ll get to keep your shoes, belt and jacket on, and your baggie of liquids and laptop stay in your carry-on bags. 

More than 180 airports with 19 airlines have TSA Pre-Check.

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