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TSA Pre check
Old 06-08-2014, 01:34 PM   #1
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TSA Pre check

We haven't flown in almost 2 years, so when we get to security today we're sent through the TSA pre check line. Great an express line, shos on, belts, no liquid baggie.... We never applied or anything. We've both been fingerprinted, background checks in past(CCW), can't see how that would apply.
Anyone have an idea?
MRG
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #2
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I've been on it for the past. Never knew why, but glad I am.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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I believe the airlines have leeway to select travelers for TSA Precheck. I don't know what criteria they use.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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I don't know either. On time on the flight out I was selected to go through the express line, thought it maybe was because I flew that route a lot for business. But on the way back and the next flight had to go through the whole procedure.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:22 PM   #5
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The last few times through we've had one or more of our party in TSA Pre but at least one without it. All tickets purchased in one transaction. It is nice, but they could group travelers together a little better.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
We haven't flown in almost 2 years, so when we get to security today we're sent through the TSA pre check line. Great an express line, shos on, belts, no liquid baggie.... We never applied or anything. We've both been fingerprinted, background checks in past(CCW), can't see how that would apply.
Anyone have an idea?
MRG
Have a look at your boarding pass and/or airline booking to see if you have been assigned a "known traveler" number. If so you want to register it on your profile of the the airlines you fly.

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We have "known traveler" numbers by virtue of signing up for Global Entry to bypass the long waiting lines at immigration, and have registered the numbers with the various airlines
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Last time I flew, my DW got sent to precheck, but not me, it was the slow line for me.

So she got to wait for me on the other side
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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Some airports and airlines have the ability to randomly assign them to customers. This link has a little bit more info:

TSA Pre✓™ Airlines & Airports | Transportation Security Administration

I have had it randomly given to me on boarding passes, mostly on Southwest Airlines, around 25% of the time. Also, at a couple of airports I have been directed to the pre-check line even though my boarding pass did not say so.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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I got TSA Pre-check through my frequent flier premier status (I travel a bit for w*rk - well, quite a bit). I must have been one of the earliest participants. When it first came out the lines in the pre-check lanes were non-existent; lately, they can be as long as the lines for the unwashed masses.

Greatest thing ever. It's like security was in the 1980's. Put all your stuff in the carry-on, leave your shoes and belt on, and walk through the magnetometer. Simple.

Edit: add link to TSA web page. FAQ #2 lists how you get it. The first bullet point was my way in: "U.S. citizens of frequent flyer programs who meet TSA-mandated criteria and who have been invited by a participating airline."
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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I know you can apply for pre check and they will give you a number that you enter when you make reservations so you get pre check every time if it is available at your airport. They also do it randomly. I don't know if there is any selection criteria used or not but it is nice to be able to basically walk thru security with minimal delay and hassle. I seem to be hitting it maybe 50% of the time recently. I'm ex Navy and my entire career was spent doing something that required a federal license or certification and background checks out the wazoo, I wonder if that plays into the screening?

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Old 06-08-2014, 04:59 PM   #11
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Got mine through American Airlines AAdvantage membership; couldn't figure out how to do it at the TSA website.

I think it is the best efficiency initiative they've implemented yet; not removing shoes and pulling laptops (I travel with 2), plus the shorter line in most cases cuts my security time by 2/3rds. Still doesn't make up for the forcibly removed luggage zipper pulls, though...

You can still be randomly selected to participate in the full experience, happened to me once in 6 months of travel.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:21 PM   #12
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I've gotten my Trusted Traveler I.D. but haven't used it yet. Domestically, we're supposed to get fast tracked service thru security but they said not all airports participate. We will see in July. Flying to Eugene. Later in the year to San Juan.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:09 PM   #13
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Why the random pre-check option? Well, TSA is offering, for $85 - 5 years, a pre-check clearance for travelers. The qualification is for domestic flights only. This is for obviously reasons, but one is to be competitive with Global Entry ($100 for 5 years), which expedites Customs entry back into the USA. TSA is randomly providing the pre-check as "advertisement" to it's faster screening at airports - the $85 pass.

I travel extensively so use Global Entry. Folks getting the random TSA pre-check are often confused or uncertain as to why. This is my explanation, based on knowledge as a frequent traveler (90-115 flights every year).

Many of us agree that the TSA per-check is now more crowded and SLOWER because of the newbies that still take out their computers, liquids, and off with the belts, etc. That is not required.

More and more airports across America now have pre-check lanes. Those with an "abbreviated" system let you keep shoes on, but still require removal of the liquids, computer, etc. TSA gives traveler a marked colored card to designate that one is a cleared per-check traveler.

Hopes this helps.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:10 PM   #14
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This happened to me recently at one airport. The lady behind me asked why? The TSA agent said: "You were randomly selected." (A big chunk of us were directed that way.)
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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I have heard that they are giving people free 'pre-checks' as an introductory offer. Hopefully, we will all be so happy to avoid the long lines in regular security that we will pay for the Trusted Traveler card.

Note: The TT card still gets one back into the country much faster. No pre-check when returning from that vacation in Bali.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:38 PM   #16
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I have been pre-check now and then, apparently random.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #17
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I just checked the last dozen or so boarding passes I saved from this year and was " TSA Pre-Check" each time. I have no idea why, or maybe it's because I have a few million program (actual flight) miles between United (Continental), the old United, American, Delta and US Air.

It is kind of nice and gets you through the check in process easier and faster.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:32 AM   #18
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DW and I got pre-checked both ways to Chicago this weekend but my blind brother who I was accompanying and my somewhat handicapped SIL didn't. We put them in wheelchairs which had about the same effect.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:44 AM   #19
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I've gotten TSA pre-checks at random and did some digging. I flew a lot in the past, not very much now, and have Lifetime Gold status on AA but no status on the airline I was flying at the time.

They started giving people Pre-Check status (printed on the Boarding Pass) because the Pre-Check lines didn't have a lot of people going through them. In order to justify their existence, they decided to expand access to others. This includes people who, apparently, have a track record for flying and aren't on any Secret Lists of Bad People, and people who get sent through the line when the regular line is long and the pre-Check line is short.

The people who paid to get Pre-Check status and went through the bureaucratic hoops aren't too thrilled because frequently the people who get sent through Pre-Check for the first time have no idea what that means so they hold up the line by taking out their laptop and the Freedom Baggie, taking off their shoes, etc. I plead guilty to that, although I've gotten to the point that I'm in stocking feet with my laptop and my plastic bag out when I approach the desk where the check ID and Boarding Passes. The people in the pre-check line just looked at me funny and asked why I'd taken off my shoes and taken my laptop out.

Sigh. This is why DH and I drive nearly everywhere.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:59 AM   #20
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Thanks everybody. Athena think were in the same boat, used to be a frequent flyer on three different airlines(gold platinum whatever). Sine 2003 haven't traveled much. I'm guessing it is to help justify the existance of the program. If I start flying more I'd gladly pay $85 for the background check.
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