TSA Precheck Traveling With Children

TSA precheck traveling with children

Taking Flight with Tiny Travelers: A Guide to TSA PreCheck with Kids

Flying with children can be an adventure, but airport security can add a layer of stress. Enter TSA PreCheck, a program designed to expedite the screening process for pre-approved travelers. But how does it work with kids in tow? Worry not, weary parents! This guide unveils the secrets of navigating TSA PreCheck with your little ones, ensuring a smoother, less-chaotic journey.

Who Gets the PreCheck Perks?

The good news: children under 12 automatically enjoy TSA PreCheck benefits when traveling with an enrolled parent or guardian. They can skip removing shoes, belts, and light jackets, keeping meltdowns at bay.

For children aged 13-17, it gets trickier. They can join their enrolled adult in the PreCheck lane only if their boarding pass displays the TSA PreCheck indicator. This indicator is not guaranteed, so it’s best to check with your airline beforehand. If it’s missing, they’ll need to go through standard screening.

Pro Tip: Consider enrolling children 13-17 in their own PreCheck program for future convenience. They can apply individually or jointly with a parent/guardian.

Preparing for Takeoff: Essential Tips

  • Pack Smart: Pack liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-sized containers (3.4oz or less) and place them in a clear, quart-sized bag. Pack snacks and activities for kids in their carry-on to keep them occupied.
  • Dress for Success: Opt for comfortable, easy-to-remove clothing for both you and your children. Avoid bulky jackets and jewelry that might trigger additional screening.
  • Know Your Rights: Inform TSA officers that you’re traveling with children and inquire about any modified screening procedures.
  • Be Patient & Playful: Remember, security is paramount. Expect some delays and use playtime to distract anxious little ones.

Bonus Round: Traveling with Infants & Toddlers

  • Formula & Food: Breast milk, formula, and baby food are exempt from the liquids rule. Declare them to TSA officers for separate screening.
  • Strollers & Car Seats: Most airlines allow checking strollers and car seats at the gate for free. You can carry them through security if needed, but they’ll be screened separately.
  • Diaper Bag Essentials: Pack enough diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for unexpected messes. Remember, diaper bags are exempt from the liquids rule.

TSA PreCheck with kids is a game-changer, offering a smoother and less stressful airport experience. By understanding the rules, packing smartly, and staying patient, you can turn your family trip into a positive adventure, leaving the security worries behind!