Kirchhoff 3D prestack migration, as part of its execution, usually requires repeated access to a large traveltime table data base. Access to this data base implies either a memory intensive or I/O bounded solution to the storage problem. Proper compression of the traveltime table allows efficient 3D prestack migration without relying on the usually slow access to the computer hard drive. Such compression also allows for faster access to desirable parts of the traveltime table. Compression is applied to the traveltime field for each source location on the surface on a regular grid using 3D Chebyshev polynomial or cosine transforms of the traveltime field represented in the spherical coordinates or the Celerity domain. We obtain practical compression levels up to and exceeding 20 to 1. In fact, because of the smaller size traveltime table, we obtain exceptional traveltime extraction speed during migration that exceeds conventional methods. Additional features of the compression include better interpolation of traveltime tables and more stable estimates of amplitudes from traveltime curvatures. Further compression is achieved using bit encoding, by representing compression parameters values with fewer bits. © 2010 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers.