When it comes to travel, there’s a lot to stress about. First, you have to make sure you pack everything. Next, you always have to brace yourself for last-minute cancellations, storms and other curveballs.
Thanks to the lingering effects of the pandemic, travel can feel more chaotic than ever before. Tap or click here for eight ways to stay safe while traveling. Plan ahead to survive the swarm of travelers trying to cure their pent-up wanderlust.
You can also take advantage of high-tech tricks. For example, you can use Whyline to skip TSA lines — for free. Here’s all you need to know.
Zip through the airport with this travel hack
If you’ve never heard of it before, Whyline is a virtual queuing technology company. Its software lets you see live wait times so you can find the best time to show up in person.
Say you have a flight coming up. Before you head to the airport, visit the Whyline website. Of course, you can also whip out your phone, open the app on iOS or Android and secure your place in a virtual line.
Select your date of departure, destination airport, airline and flight number. Book your reservation for up to 10 travelers. Afterward, you’ll get a confirmation and a QR code via email.
It’s pretty versatile: You can book spots in virtual lines at certain banks, restaurants, museums, airports, hospitals and more. Say you live in Phoenix and you plan to fly soon. If you want to skip the security line, make an appointment at phx.whyline.com.
You may read this and think, “That sounds great! How do I know if I can use Whyline at my local airport?” That’s where things get tricky. It’s hard to find a complete list of every airport Whyline partners with.
The Kim Komando Show reached out to Whyline for clarification, but the company hasn’t responded yet. For now, here are a few Whyline partners we know about:
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Los Angeles World Airports
- Charleston International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
If you plan to fly with any of these airports, take advantage of the Whyline option to skip long lines. You’ll save yourself a lot of time. Maybe you can even try out one of those massage chairs near your terminal!
Maybe Whyline is new to you, but you’ve probably heard of its parent company
Biometric screening company Clear bought Whyline in February. You’ve probably seen Clear setups on your way to board your airline. This company operates the eye- and face-scanning machines you see in airports and stadiums.
Clear users don’t need to make appointments to use Clear machines. When you’re flying, bring a photo ID and get ready to share your biometric information. That means you may have to scan your eye, face or thumbprint.
You’ll still have to go through metal detectors and bag checks, but the process is much quicker than going through airport security regularly. The standard price for Clear membership is $179/year. That makes it more expensive than government programs like TSA PreCheck.
You’ve got to check out TSA PreCheck
Another way to zip through long lines at the airport is to apply for TSA Pre-Check. You won’t have to unpack your laptop or take off your shoes. Oh, and you don’t have to stress out about holding up the line and possibly taking too long. (Or is that just me?)
Over 200 American airports use this program. Tap or click here to apply.
Remember: Vacations are wonderful for your well-being. But they’re often pretty tough on your wallet. Here are seven travel hacks that can save you time and money on your next trip.
The main takeaway
The Whyline acquisition means the Clear experience will expand to new industries like banking, retail, arts and culture and even government services. In other words, you could soon look up wait times in lines almost anywhere. You could cut long lines out of your life.
There’s a security risk, though. The opportunity to share your biometric information with different vendors could compromise your privacy. Scanning your eye or face to skip to the front of the line at a museum, restaurant or government office can be super convenient, yes. But it also comes with a few complex privacy issues.
We wrote about this a few years ago when U.S. Customs and Border Protection asked the Federal Register for permission to use biometric exit programs in all land and airports. Tap or click here for the scoop on expanded facial recognition tech for travelers.