Tips, Tricks & Tactics: TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry (for free?!)

TSA Pre-Check is a pre-screened traveler program begun in 2011 by the Transportation Security Administration. TSA currently allows only US citizens and permanent residents to apply for a Known Traveler Number (KTN). Currently, 180+ airports and 30 airlines participate with the program. The application fee is $85, there is an application, in-person interview, and fingerprinting, and if you’re accepted by the program, for a 5 year period, you’d have access to an expedited screening line at airports, and you don’t need to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.

For international travelers, Global Entry is a U.S. Custom and Border Protection program that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited customs clearance upon arrival to the United States from abroad. This program is open to US citizens, permanent residents, and citizens of certain other countries. Currently, 42+ airports participate with the program. The application fee is $100, there is an application, in-person interview, and fingerprinting, and if you’re accepted by the program, for a 5 year period, you will not have to complete a paper form upon re-entry to the country, and have access to a “fast-track” electronic kiosk customs line. In addition, this program confers TSA Pre-Check privileges for eligible applicants.

Basically, you want to get in and out of the airport? Get TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry. And you’re in luck for several reasons. One, several credit cards credit TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fees as part of their benefits. Two, Honolulu International Airport participates in both programs and host enrollment centers for in-person interviews.

Credit cards that provide reimbursements for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry:

Hawaii TSA Pre-Check Enrollment Centers

  • Honolulu International Airport, HI – departure level, lobby 3, inter island terminal
  • Honolulu, HI – 1414 Kapiolani Blvd
  • Wailuku, HI – 291 Hookahi St
  • Lihue, HI – 2970 Kele St
  • Hilo, HI – 99 Aupuni St Ste 208

Hawaii Global Entry Enrollment Center

  • Honolulu International Airport, HI – 300 Rodgers Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96819

Instructions: drive to HNL and drive past the arrivals/baggage claim in the interisland terminal; instead of turning left on to the international/domestic terminals, go straight. On your left you will pass a large parking lot for tour buses; make a left into the smaller parking lot immediately behind it. There are 6 (free) parking stalls labeled CBP/USDA and you can park in any of those stalls. The Customs and Border Patrol Office is in the small building adjoining the lot. Amazingly, the best guidance on finding this office, including pictures, is on Yelp.

Questions, Comments or Criticisms?