The last time you booked a flight a flight online, you may have noticed a field for entering a KTN (Known Traveler Number). While this number isn't required, having a KTN offers some benefits. If you're flying more than once a year, having a KTN could make your time in airport security faster and easier.
WHAT IS A KTN?
A KTN is a 9-digit, unique number that identifies a traveler who is eligible to receive expedited screening through airport security. Those who pay for and are approved for TSA PreCheck receive a KTN. Those who pay for and are approved for Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI, receive a PASSID, which is essentially the same as a KTN.
If you have a KTN, it's important to add it when booking airline travel to ensure the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on your boarding pass. If the TSA PreCheck indicator is not on your boarding pass, you'll have to go through standard security, even if you've been approved for TSA PreCheck.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A KTN
TSA PreCheck offers travelers a faster and more convenient experience in U.S airports. Program participants can access special security lanes that are typically shorter than general security lines.
According to TSA, in March 2023, 89% of TSA PreCheck passengers waited in line for less than five minutes. That means travelers could potentially save hours each year.
When using TSA PreCheck lanes, you're not required to remove your shoes, belts, and light jackets while moving through the screening process. You also don't need to remove laptops or liquids from your bags before they are scanned.
HOW TO GET A KTN
Enrolling in TSA PreCheck and receiving a KTN requires paying a $78 application fee and completing an in-person interview at an enrollment center. You'll be digitally fingerprinted during the interview to lessen the time needed for the required background check. Once approved for the program, your membership is good for five years before renewal is required.
Alternatively, international travelers can apply for Global Entry. This trusted traveler program grants expedited entry into the U.S. from international destinations. In addition, program participants automatically receive access to TSA PreCheck during domestic travel. The application fee for Global Entry is $100 and membership is valid for five years.
Check the benefits associated with your credit cards, as many credit card companies will reimburse cardholders for the application fee.