Tag Archives: How to enroll in TSA Precheck

Free TSA Pre-Check Status Is Ending

free TSA Pre-Check

If you have traveled frequently in the last month, you may have noticed a major change. Most airlines are no longer providing free TSA Pre-check status like they have in the past. Those receiving TSA Pre-Check for free will now be offered it less and less. The Transportation Security Administration has begun limiting access to its expedited physical screening lanes. Only those who have paid for and enrolled in a Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler programs—TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI will be offered on a consistent basis. My thinking is that every once in a while they want to make sure you are still going by the rules and have you go through regular security lines for a full review.

Applying for TSA Pre-Check

Though an application and approval process is required to receive TSA Pre-Check status, it is very easy.  Interested fliers apply online, submit to a background check, and then visit one of more than 380 enrollment sites across the country. This in-person appointment with a TSA agents can be scheduled online as well.  I enrolled in Global Entry early in 2016 and loved how it expedited my re-entry to US. If you travel 3-4 trips a year, it is well worth the $85 for five years ($17 a year) or Global Entry is $100 ($20 a year).  Learn more about the application process in our ultimate TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry guide.

TSA Pre Check alternative payment methods

Some airlines are offering payment by using your miles. United Airlines and Alaska Airlines require using 10,000 miles, while Southwest  needs 9,000 rapid rewards points.  Delta Air Lines is using miles, but instead offering Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members the ability to select Global Entry application vouchers through Choice Benefits. This loyalty program feature is only available to Delta elite Members. JetBlue is also offering TSA Pre Check for free to elites, similar to Delta’s system.

If you love not having to remove shoes, leaving laptop in your bag, along with your Ziploc bag of liquids don’t delay because the necessary face-to-face appointments are filling up fast.  In other words—don’t wait until right before your next trip to apply as you will be sadly disappointed.

Any questions about TSA PreCheck eligibility contact TSA at (866) 289-9673 or submit questions to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook.com/AskTSA.

TSA Precheck Lines Getting Longer?

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced an initiative to enroll twenty-five million new travelers in their Trusted Traveler programs by 2019. Such programs include TSA Precheck and Global Entry.
—To accomplish this goal, TSA is getting creative. Last year, they opened Precheck enrollment centers at locations like H&R Block and select Department of Motor Vehicles. During their Summer Tour, they set up pop-up enrollment centers at hotels across the country. They’re also now marketing Precheck at concerts, offering those who enroll access to concert Fast Passes via Precheck. Rumor is, TSA may soon be partnering with a major bank. They may also begin offering special pricing programs for the service. Select hotel and airline reward programs offer the option to use points to pay for the enrollment, while some credit card companies offer waivers to cover the cost.

According to Charlie Carroll, the vice president of Identity Services at TSA’s enrollment services partner MorphoTrust, 250,000 people enroll each month. While momentum is picking up with increased marketing, reaching twenty-five million in the next two and a half years may be an uphill climb.

How Does Increased Precheck Enrollment Affect Travelers

The real question is—how does this affect travelers? On a recent business trip, I got TSA Precheck status via random selection. It was a dream. I kept my shoes on and my laptop and bag of liquids stayed in the suitcase. I breezed through security, arriving at my gate much earlier than I anticipated. Needless to say, I enjoyed the elite status and ease of the service so much I considered enrolling and paying the $85 to become Precheck approved.

But let’s remember–the need for TSA Precheck rose from travelers’ frustration over long, slow security lines. Long, slow security lines are the result of travelers having to empty bags and practically de-robe to pass security. These requirements came in response to terrorism. TSA Precheck was then created as an elite service for frequent travelers. Eventually, preferred members of airlines, identified as “low risk” travelers, received access. Now, they’re actively marketing the service with no signs of limiting the number of people who want it.

From where I stand, it appears that they reduced the quality and speed of airport security services after 9/11. Now they’re charging us, the travelers, to get back the convenience of the faster, easier security lines we originally enjoyed. And with enrollment for the service growing rapidly, it seems unlikely that TSA Precheck will continue to be as fast, convenient, and elite as it has been.

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Getting Through Airport Security

tsaIn order to test TSA airport security systems, undercover agents will try to get through undetected with hidden threats. When it was revealed that 95% of the time TSA security screeners and/or devices failed to detect the agents’ hidden threats, Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, began considering additional measures to increase safety.

But what does that mean for you as a traveler? More than likely, it potentially means longer lines at security check points. To avoid this, especially if you are a frequent traveler, we recommend you sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓™. There is no time like the present.

For more information on these programs visit CBP.gov or TSA.gov. For additional information on which airlines and airports offer TSA Pre✓™ click here.

Related Posts

  1. How to Enroll in TSA Pre✓™
  2. Global Entry: Experienced Business Travelers’ #1 Travel Tip
  3. TSA Pre✓™: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  4. How to Avoid Security Lines (or at least get through them faster)

How to Enroll in TSA Pre✓™

1391708975000-TSA-PRE-CHECKWould you like to apply for a TSA Pre✓™, but are not quite sure how to get the ball rolling?

After spending numerous hours in airport security lines this year, I’ve decided Pre✓™ is the way to go. To enroll, you must first visit a TSA Pre✓™ application center. You can do this in one of two ways:

  1. Pre-enroll online and make an appointment to visit an application center.
  2. Visit any application center as a walk-in.

Be sure to bring the required documents, which are outlined on TSA.gov, and $85.

After applying, approved applicants will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in approximately two to three weeks. This KTN will then need to be input by your travel agent into each reservation. You can find more information about the application and enrollment process here.

What does Pre✓™ mean for you? Faster lines in a dedicated screening line at airport security and no removal of belts, shoes, jackets, or laptops!