Love TSA PreCheck? Hate the line? Make sure you know this one trick.

It’s almost New Years, meaning the chaos of travel is either about to start back up (for business travelers) or about to end (for holiday vacationers). But for everyone traveling during any busy season, there’s always one thing that bites – going through security.

If you have TSA PreCheck, you know it’s the best thing to happen to airport security ever. But, because of PreCheck’s popularity, sometimes the dedicated line can be HUGE! Sometimes the PreCheck lines can even be longer than the normal lines!

Fortunately, if you have any status with the airline you’re flying, you’ll also see a line for First Class passengers (to which having airline status will usually grant you access), even if you’re not flying in First Class.

But – which line should you go through? First class will most likely be shorter, but PreCheck will obviously be easier because PreCheck.

The right answer: Go through the First Class security line (again, even if you aren’t flying in First Class).

If you have TSA PreCheck, you can usually just go through the First Class or status lines, and the kind TSA human will shuffle you over to the PreCheck line.

I’ve done this countless times now at half a dozen airports over the years since PreCheck was implemented, and it’s worked without fail. If you have PreCheck and you have status, always go through the First Class or status security line.

Update: This PreCheck trick didn’t work for one user (see comments) at Newark. But in my experience, I’ve never had an issue at a multitude of airports. Happy hunting!

Another update: I got word that it doesn’t work at Orlando on the gates 70-129 side as recently as last week. I have used this trick there before, but this was some time ago and not on the part of the airport.

Is TSA planning to ban carry-on bags and electronics on airplanes?

There’s a laundry list of things you can’t bring on an airplane when you travel. But could carry-on bags and electronics like laptops and iPads be next on the list?

After some “chatter” from U.K. intelligence, U.S. counter-terrorism officials have discussed a possible ban on carry-on items, meaning while you sit in a metal tube for hours, you’ll have no iPhone. No laptop. No tablet. At least, that’s according to a new report from NPR.

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6 great ways to fly for cheap during the holidays

Now that Christmas is quickly approaching, there’s a lot of travel going on – and in many cases, if you haven’t yet booked your holiday travel, it’s going to get really (more) expensive, really fast.

Fortunately, there are solid ways to find pretty inexpensive travel through the New Year – though that’s not to say it’s always straightforward. A recent Wall Street Journal article suggests that Sundays are now the best day of the week to buy tickets, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be significantly cheaper, especially if you’re buying within 7 or 14 days of travel.

Here we go with six ways to save big.

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4 ways to make sure your phone comes home with you

Just recently, Department of Homeland Security issued a new edict to certain airports – if your cell phone doesn’t turn on while you go through security, it won’t be allowed through. Allegedly, it’s to help combat terrorism – but you can form your own opinions on that.

So, as someone who travels frequently and frequently finds himself in airports, airplanes and Metro trains without a place to plug in, what’s a guy to do?

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Carpe Points Is Back

The first two months of 2014 have been positively nonstop. 18-hour-day after the next meant that there was little time to write more about what I love – traveling, which meant that there were no new posts during the month of January, and little in February. But now we’re back. Promise.

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Is Southwest’s $12.50 Earlybird Check-in worth it?

Southwest Airlines is a great no-frills airline with service across the United States. Unfortunately, a big part of their “no frills” aspect is that seats are not assigned at all; once you’re onboard the aircraft, you can pick any seat you want that’s available. That also means that to get on the aircraft sooner, you want to check in as close to exactly 24 hours before your flight to get an A, B, or C number, which determines the order in which you board and is assigned sequentially upon check-in. Fortunately, for $12.50, Earlybird Check-in does all the work for you before anyone else has a chance to do the same.

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