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Old 12-28-2016, 09:49 AM   #21
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I went to my airport for the appt, it took 15 minutes and I was out of the airport.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:52 AM   #22
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I have arthritic feet and not having to hobble across the floor without shoes is worth the price.

I went through the pre-check line recently and got randomly assigned to be x-rayed (boo!), but they didn't have a female agent available, so I waited for 15 minutes (grrr!). I finally insisted on being screened by a male agent, but I'm a retired physician and naked (-ish) bodies are workaday to me.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:27 AM   #23
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I've had TSA Precheck since inception. I was travelling a lot over the last few years as I was still consulting. The last few times I traveled, I have noticed that the Precheck lines are longer than the non-Pre lines and in some airports (for instance, Terminal E in Houston), Precheck lines are routinely closed.

Not trying to be a downer on this service, but it is getting "crowded" and not always available.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:35 AM   #24
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Just flew over the holiday. I had TSA precheck printed on my boarding pass on both flights. I have not enrolled in any program. The airline says that some people are selected by the TSA for this. My best guess is that it is my age that makes me low risk.

On my flight from JFK, the precheck line was MUCH shorter and I appreciated not having to remove my shoes. On the return from Rochester, NY, I presented my boarding pass and ID to the agent and was given a large laminated card that said "TSA precheck". I was then funneled into the main security line. No time savings and many people were confused as to the procedures. Glad I didn't pay for the program on my return flight.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:19 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
We got Global Entry early last year, which is the international version of TSA pre-check and it made a world of difference. Getting through security more quickly, kept our shoes on, no liquids in the bag thing. Definitely an advantage. Unless the fee is a budget breaker, no reason not to.
It also depends how often you will use it. My nearest Global Entry interview center is 3 hours away. That means I shoot 6 hours plus the interview time itself to save, what, 15 minutes? 30 minutes? Granted I can probably schedule that interview at a convenient time while travel day delays are almost always inconvenient, but that's still a clear reason for an irregular traveler not to do it.

There are more TSA interview centers, but my closest one is still an hour away.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:21 PM   #26
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At some airports, the pre-check lines are longer than the regular lines, but they do still move faster than the regular lines. This has happened to me frequently in the Washington DC area, and also less often at my home airport of San Diego. Military and civilian DoD employees can get pre-check just by using the number on the back of their CAC (federal ID card) as a known traveler number, so in cities with a lot of federal employees and military personnel, you will see longer pre-check lines. I've groaned when getting in the longer lines, but have still beat colleagues who got in the shorter lines without pre-check.

If you do get pre-check, you should still pack your liquids in a baggie that you can easily remove from your carry-on. Sometimes pre-check lanes are closed and there are also airports and terminals that don't have a separate pre-check line for some of their gates. E.g. in San Diego, for a flight that leaves out of gates 1 or 2, there's only one security line. If you have pre-check you get a pink card that means you don't have to take off shoes or jacket, but you still have to remove the liquids and laptop from your carry-ons because they're all going through the same x-ray as the non-precheck luggage.

As someone else pointed out, a good way to get pre-check is to see if any of your credit cards offer it or global entry as a benefit.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #27
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I fly regularly for business (3 more months) and get Pre check all the time. It's great. It would be worth it to pay for from the time saved in line.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:52 PM   #28
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Some of the smaller airports we have used either funnel the Pre-TSA people into the regular line (on a fairly regular basis), or, (at one airport,) have moved the Pre-TSA over to the adjoining terminal during slower times-both terminals in one line (causing an extra 100 yard walk to the correct terminal after screening).

It is usually quicker to wait in the regular line, in the correct terminal.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:04 PM   #29
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Thanks everyone for all the information! Did someone say something about a glut of passengers last spring? Maybe I just landed in the middle of that during my June 2016 trip. Even though it was mid-week, the airports were jammed.
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:01 PM   #30
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If most people go to the TSA _pre line, I guess the other lines will be shorter.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:11 PM   #31
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Most people aren't going to go to the TSA pre line. It takes some effort to be pre approved, and now that the program is up and running, airlines are no longer supposed to be awarding that status to their frequent fliers. If you are old enough, however, you may get it automatically.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:32 PM   #32
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Another satisfied customer here for TSA pre-check. We got Global Entry 2 or 3 years back and we enjoy the pre-check experience.
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:43 PM   #33
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WE have been getting it for free most of the time. Maybe at age 62 they are not worried)
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #34
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If you travel at least once a year, for sure worth it. I was able to make an appointment at the nearest airport and was in and out very quickly. Just then make sure you register your TSA number with your airlines and have it in place before you get your boarding pass - if for any reason it doesn't get printed on the pass you do not get to go TSA.

On average you will save an hour per trip (30 mins each end). I have had it about 2.5 years now and I will renew. Whenever we travel I book the tickets so my DH is on the same record locator, and he always then gets Pre as well (so only one fee paid). High end CC's will also credit you the fee (Platinum, high fee cards). Those cards are pricey, but if you use all the benefits they can work out well - and this is one of them.

I think perhaps the agents are nicer because they aren't having to explain 30 times a minute to take off your shoes, throw out that water bottle - they are dealing with people who mostly have been to the rodeo before, and also people who aren't aggravated from standing in line for an hour and frantic that they are missing their flights. So, it might sound snobbish, but a hidden benefit is the TSA line is really the "less riff-raff" line. Business travelers, frequent travelers, less twits.

I also like not having to take out my toiletries (the 3-1-1 baggie), especially since I try to only ever go with carry on, so all my stuff is very strategically packed.

Yes on occasion the TSA will have a line, and can be not that much better wait time than the regular line, but that's pretty rare.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:20 PM   #35
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Not sure we travel enough to justify it. I have considered it for DH. Taking shoes off is an issue for him. His shoes have to be tied and untied and he is not flexible. Shoes are not an issue for me...I wear shoes I can slip on and off and with my yoga practice I am very flexible...can easily stand on one foot. Last time we travelled I was given a card that allowed me to keep my shoes on at one of the checkpoints. Unfortunately I couldn't give the card to DH instead.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Most people aren't going to go to the TSA pre line. It takes some effort to be pre approved, and now that the program is up and running, airlines are no longer supposed to be awarding that status to their frequent fliers. If you are old enough, however, you may get it automatically.
I never applied, and have had it since it started. Maybe it's because of the million + miles of flight distance I have done on a few airlines, or maybe because they consider me "old"?
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:35 PM   #37
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I'm 49 and have been given TSA pre-check whenever I've flown (a few times a year) for the last 3 years. Idk exactly why but I think I know what started it.

My son, DIL and I went to DC and they had my birthdate wrong on the WH tour list. They made me wait in a bullpen and for some reason it took them about an hour to verify who I was (never been arrested, not even had a ticket). I've been TSA pre-check ever since that vacation.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:16 PM   #38
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A little late to the thread, but wanted to add my two cents. While the system is not perfect, I am glad I got the TSA Pre-check. I find this system to be less aggravating than the regular lines and does simplify things most of the time. People in the regular lines can be pokey, unsure of what to do, and things tend not to move along at times. I skimmed through the PreCheck lines at Dulles once when I was given that status at random. The regular line went on forever. That situation made my decision for me. Been FIREd three years now and I try to reduce aggravation whenever possible. I have been ramping up the travel plans and will gladly pay the money and drive the 45 minutes to the site when it comes time to renew. I plan to get the Global Entry as well. I see it as money well spent!
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:53 PM   #39
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We both have Global Entry and love it. Great for domestic flights (pre-check) and very fast re-entry into the US. It's $100 for 5 years - only $15 more than pre-check alone. You by pass the passport lines and you also get a short line for customs. One problem is that most foreign airlines (such as BA, Lufthansa, etc.) - flying direct from US airports out of country - do not participate in pre-check, so you have to wait on the regular TSA line. Domestic airlines flying out of country - United, Delta, etc., do.

The process for Global Entry is a bit more involved and invasive and we saw some folks get tossed out of the interview after giving the interviewer static - like why do you need to know that? Never, ever, give these folks a hard time - they have no patience with trouble makers.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:35 AM   #40
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The last few flights I have taken I have gotten precheck without paying anything...

A couple my DW did not get it so I went with her.... our last flight we both got it and it was OK on our flight there... but on our return flight they literally closed it down when we walked up to it... there were people in line and they said 'we are closed'... however, we did not have to take off our shoes or anything else...


I would only do it if I were taking a good number of flights... we rarely fly right now so I do not... when we do start to fly more, I will probably go for it...
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