Is TSA PreCheck a Must-Have for Creatives Traveling With Gear?

No one enjoys the hassle of going through airport security, but for photographers and filmmakers, it can be especially frustrating and tedious to deal with having all of our gear unpacked, inspected, and repacked, and it can be a serious delay. TSA PreCheck has the potential to alleviate a lot of that, though. Is it worth the $85 fee for five years? This great video essay discusses the topic. 

Coming to you from Bryan Redding of Deaf Director, this helpful video discusses the usefulness of TSA PreCheck for creatives, especially those of us who have to lug around a ton of gear. Conventional advice is to never check any fragile or important gear, both because it can be lost or mishandled, but then, you have to lug a lot of equipment through security, and given that you are often required to open bags and remove items for closer inspection, it can be especially time-consuming and annoying. TSA PreCheck can save a lot of the hassle and give you an extra time buffer to get to your gate, which can also be quite beneficial if you need to claim some overhead space for your gear. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Redding. 

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10 Comments

Taylor Potter's picture

I think pre check is an absolute must. I fly FPV drones so I end up bringing a ton of batteries with me on flights. Normal security I have to pull the battery bag out separate and run it through. Pre check even batteries can stay in my bag, it’s awesome.

Michael DeStefano's picture

I've had it since it came out and it is totally worth it.

David Pavlich's picture

Yep! And for those of us that travel between the states and Canada, Nexus is another terrific addition for getting through customs quicker.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Nice. Good to know.

Dave Oliver's picture

Not sure if I have just been lucky, but on my 3 trips to the US from Australia, including transitting 8 different US airports I have never had any issues with taking my gear kit with me other than the TSA taking a look at my telephoto in my checked luggage on the way home. Just put my pelican case on the belt for it to be scanned and never had to open it.

Tony Northrup's picture

Yeah ABSOLUTELY it's worth it. Without it my backpack definitely gets searched (while I'm trying to put my shoes and belt back on). It's also nice that security never takes as long, so I don't have to worry about showing up hours early in case TSA is backed up. Get it for the whole family while you're at it.

Robert Nurse's picture

I used it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely worth it! Breezing past the long lines and just having your gear scanned and not rifled through was nice.

james feldman's picture

Pre+early boarding to get a coveted overhead.

Craig Tooms's picture

Just flew yesterday with a backpack full of camera gear and lots of batteries, PreCeck is always wonderful to have. Put it on the conveyer belt, walk to the other side and off you go.

Edit: Backpack also had a laptop in it.

Felix C's picture

It is free if you have the right credit card and absolutely worth it. At SFO, everything needs to come out of the backpack, so for that alone it is worth it. Just had my interview this morning, only took 5 minutes. They take your fingerprints and your picture.