Find out more information about  
Fill out this form and a representative will contact you.
Captcha Image
Contact Us
Fast and Not So Furious: Notes from a Frequent Flier

This was one of those weeks when I traveled Monday through Friday, which meant four nights away from home and three different hotels. As I write this, I'm on a plane from San Francisco to New York.

I've been traveling for business for as long as I can remember. Whether for clients, professional conferences and seminars, or visiting Marcum's many offices, I've been on the road and in the air for much of the last 30 years. These days, I wind up on planes an average of twice per month, to places like L.A., Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago and London. They are all very nice cities with excellent hotels, restaurants, and cultural and sporting events. Due to the generosity of some clients and the modern miracle of frequent flier miles, I'm usually able to upgrade my long haul flights. Trust me, that's a far cry from the early days of my career working for a "big eight" accounting firm, when I spent weeks on end performing audits of public companies, sometimes in places so small I'm not sure they even had names.

But no matter how many amenities you build in, frequent business travel is still tough, regardless of what class you're flying or where you're staying. And the worst part is usually the security check point lines at the airport, which are about as much fun as a colonoscopy. They're for our own safety and protection, but who really wants to go through it?

Now, most of you know I'm not a proponent of big government or government-run programs, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Against all odds, the federal government has managed to come up with a terrific program to alleviate some of the inconvenience of frequent travel. The TSA Pre Check program is the equivalent of an EZ Pass for air travelers. Anyone and everyone who is a frequent business traveler should sign up for it immediately, if not sooner.

With Pre Check, enrolled travelers enter a separate security screening line, where you don't need to remove your shoes or take your computer(s) out of your bags. Just remove your cell phone, keys and other metal objects from your pockets, walk through a metal detector, and you're on your way. Average check-in time with the program is approximately three minutes, versus 30 or more in airports like McCarran (Las Vegas) or O'Hare (Chicago) at peak travel times. But beyond just saving time, it also saves serious amounts of wear, tear and aggravation.

When Pre Check first started, it was available at just a few airlines in a few airports, American being one of the carriers, and JFK and LAX being two of the hubs. I do the JFK/LAX round trip every six to eight weeks and was lucky enough, as an American Executive Platinum frequent flier, to be enrolled in American's version of the TSA Pre Check program for their flights. However, since I also fly occasionally with JetBlue, Delta, United and other airlines, when the TSA program was rolled out across the industry, I immediately enrolled. It couldn't have been easier.

It took less than 15 minutes to complete my registration on the government's Global Entry web site (Google it). A couple of days later, I got an email from Global Entry telling me the first part of my application process was completed, and I needed to schedule an interview at a Global Entry office, which in my case turned out to be at the International Terminal 4 at JFK airport. I arrived one Friday morning at the scheduled appointment time, was seen within five minutes, and in another 15 minutes was fully enrolled in the TSA Pre Check program as well as with Global Entry for international travel. It was unbelievably efficient, especially for the government.

Travel is a necessary part of business for many of us. So anything that can improve the experience is a good thing in my book. Especially if it means getting home less aggravated and more relaxed. Your family will thank you.

Go Back

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.

Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner
View Jeffrey Weiner's Profile View Profile
Download Jeffrey Weiner's Contact Card Download vCard
Connect with Jeffrey Weiner on LinkedIn Connect with Jeffrey Weiner
Follow Jeffrey Weiner on Twitter Follow Jeffrey Weiner
Subscription Preferences
Recent Posts
Change Is In the Air
Tradition of Service
Buckle Up
Because You Count
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013

New York
New Jersey
Rhode Island
Grand Cayman

Get in Touch

Get Connected
Privacy | Legal | Sitemap | Secure Mail