Fast Track Airport Security

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Fast Track Airport Security

Is it worth buying a pass to skip airport security lines? Discover where Fast Track security airport screening is available.

Fast Track - what is it?

 

Many airports offer a security fast-tracking scheme. With a fast track security pass, passengers can enter a priority lane to skip the queues at security screening. This means reaching the security search-area quicker, allowing for more time to relax in the departure lounge before flying.

flat airport security icon

Some airports provide the option to purchase a fast track security lane pass, either in advance or at the airport on the day of travel. Purchasing a pass will enable access to the fast track lane during security screening. The price varies depending on the airport - 4€ at Barcelona (BCN), £5 at Manchester (MAN), and £3–5 at Luton (LTN), for example.

Top Tip: If you’re flying Business or First Class, many airlines will also provide their customers with fast-track security lines as a complimentary service!

Is fast track worth it?

 

If you are a regular flyer, you will know that a often spend the majority of your time queueing through various checkpoints before you finally get to your departure gate. The opportunity to bypass the lines and fast-track through security is likely to be very appealing.

It is worth noting that most airports can not guarantee that fast track security lines will be quicker. However, if you are flying during a peak time - if your flight leaves before 10am or during seasonal peaks such as school holidays - then you are more likely to experience the benefit of fast track security.

If you have a strict deadline (if you are catching a connecting flight, for example) and can’t afford to miss your flight, or if you like to make your airport experience as enjoyable as stress free as possible, then security fast tracking might be for you.

How do you use a fast track pass?

 

Before heading to the airport, check whether a Fast Track Pass is available to purchase as a stand alone product. The pass can be used once, on the day that you have booked. Once at the airport, fast track customers can enter their own lane to pass through security - but remember that airport security rules and policies for each airport will still apply.

Fast Track Security
in the UK

 

Many of the busiest airports in the UK now offer a fast track security pass. At some airports a pass can be pre-purchased, but at others a pass will need to be purchased at the airport - which is a good opportunity to assess the queues once you’re at the airport and judge whether you think the pass will be worthwhile.

 

Fast Track programs at the UK's busiest airports:

Airport Program Name Cost Per Person Child Exemptions
Belfast International (BFS) Priority Security Advance: £3
Airport: £3
Under 2's free
Birmingham (BHX) Express Lane Security Advance: £3.75
Airport: £5
Under 5's free
Bristol (BRS) Fast Track Security Advance: £3.95
Airport: £5
n/a
East Midlands (EMA) FastTrack Security Advance: £4
Airport: £4
Under 5's free
Edinburgh (EDI) FastTRACK Security Advance: £4.49
Airport: £4.49
n/a
Glasgow (GLA) Priority Security Advance: £4.99
Airport: n/a
n/a
London Gatwick (LGW) Premium Security Advance: £5
Airport: n/a
Under 12's free
London Heathrow (LHR) Fast Track Departures Advance: invite only
Airport: invite only
n/a
London Luton (LTN) Priority Lane Advance: £3
Airport: £5
Under 2's free
London Stansted (STN) FastTrack Security Advance: £7
Airport: £7
n/a
Manchester (MAN) FastTrack Security Advance: £5
Airport: £5
n/a

 

Travelling as a family?

Note that there are no freebies for children, and most airports require all passengers, including children and babies, to purchase a fast-track ticket. Also, be warned that some schemes, including those at Manchester and Stansted, will not let you through if you have a buggy, pram, or car seat.

Can I advance book my fast track pass?

This depends on the airport you are travelling through. Some airports, such as Gatwick and Glasgow, only allow advance bookings. But at most other airports, you purchase a fast-track ticket in the terminal. At East Midlands, Manchester and London Stansted, purchasing a pass at the airport is the same as advance purchasing a pass - so you might want to wait until you arrive to judge how long the queues are before buying your pass. But note that at other airports it may be more expensive.

Fast Track Security
in the USA

When leaving the USA: TSA PreCheck

TSA Precheck is a service that allows some passengers departing from US airports to fast track the security screening process. TSA PreCheck is a purchasable pass and available for a number of low-risk travelers. TSA PreCheck is only valid with certain airlines - more information can be found in our TSA PreCheck guide.

When entering the USA:

Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection program, allowing expedited clearance for pre-approved and low-risk travellers upon arrival in the United States. Eligible passengers enter the United States through automatic kiosks at (select) airports. More information can be found here.