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Photographers should get TSA PreCheck

I’m writing this article while waiting at the gate for my delayed flight in Phoenix heading to Orlando. My friend Richie and I just finished photographing a wedding in Oregon, and started our connecting flight journey back to Florida. The security checkpoint line was very long in Orlando but not that bad in Eugene.

As I breezed through security with TSA PreCheck, I looked back for my co-worker and realized I made it through the line 15 minutes faster than he did. That got me thinking, why doesn’t he have TSA PreCheck? Once we got to the gate, I sat down and wrote this article on why photographers should have TSA PreCheck.

Very reasonable cost

The cost of TSA PreCheck is $85 for five years. That breaks down to just $17 per year. So, if you travel four times a year, that’s $4.25 per trip. Traveling more brings the cost per flight down even lower. If you don’t travel at all that year, it’s still worth $17 bucks — a lot less than that gym membership you didn’t use that month (insert smiley face).

Are TSA PreCheck benefits worth it?

We’ve determined cost isn’t an issue, but are the benefits of TSA PreCheck worth it, especially for photographers? The short answer is yes. The main benefit is traveling stress-free. Imagine lugging around a camera bag filled with heavy expensive gear on your way to shoot an event or attend a photo safari you’ve saved up for all year. PreCheck passengers travel through a fast lane. Laptops, iPads and any other electronics stay in your bag and you keep your shoes on. In most cases, I’ve made it through security and headed to the gate 15 minutes faster than my traveling companions. I felt more relaxed and ready to take on my photography assignment.

Take a moment and think about your last airline travel experience. Which part of the trip caused stress? If your first thought was standing in the long security line — especially during holiday travel — then TSA PreCheck is right for you.

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