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How to Skip Long TSA Lines for Free—Without TSA PreCheck | Frommer's Pauline Frommer

How to Skip Long TSA Lines for Free—Without TSA PreCheck

Last Sunday, more than 1,000 passengers missed flights at Ireland's Dublin Airport because of epic security lines caused by staffing shortages. 

Anyone who has waited in one of the seemingly endless TSA queues that have emerged on this side of the pond lately can easily imagine the same type of scenario happening in the U.S.

Fortunately, there's a way around the lines. And I don't mean TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, although those are terrific programs for passengers who have the time and money to apply (here's how to do that).

But there's another option, at least for travelers flying out of airports in cities including Newark, New Jersey; Los Angeles; Dallas-Fort Worth; Seattle; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix; and Charleston, South Carolina. 

With a service called Whyline, which was recently bought by CLEAR, travelers make a reservation online or using a mobile app and then simply show up at the appointed time, look for the marker indicating the Whyline queue, and go right up to a security agent (or wait a minute or two at most) to present a QR code sent via the app. 

Best of all, it's free. 

Rules for securing a spot in line ahead of time may vary by airport.

In Seattle, for instance, travelers can make a reservation up to four days before a flight. Enter your flight info at the SEA Spot Saver website and you'll get back a list of appropriate times to go through security, each 15 minutes apart. Travelers get a 15-minute grace period to make the appointment.

The DFW program, meanwhile, allows travelers to book up to a week in advance, though it looks like the times for these lines are a bit more limited than in Seattle.

To see the rules for other locations, visit the airport's website or download the free Whyline app.

The service is also used at some DMVs, banks, and even (in Israel) hospitals.