What is TSA Pre ✓™ and why you should take advantage of it?
One of the frustrations of air travel is having to go through the security check (long lines) and needing to take out belt, laptop, liquids and other things before you enter the gates. Most people, including myself, are not a fan of this process and always hoped that there is a better way to handle the security check. There has been countless blog posts and news paper articles and stories on security check nightmare that people have been through. Well, there is a new program – finally! – that will address some of this concerns and allow us to fly at ease and still have security covered. It is called TSA Pre✓™
In this article, we will learn what is TSA Pre Check or TSA Pre✓™ and how you should take advantage of it.
What is TSA Pre✓™?
This program is operated by Customs and Border Protections and it is often referred as TSA Pre Check.
In simple terms, it is a pre-screening initiative and allows eligible participants to use dedicated TSA Pre✓™ lanes at participating airports for screening benefits which could include no longer removing the following items:
- 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
- Laptop from bag
- Light outerwear/jacket
If Transportation Security Administration (TSA – U.S. Government body) determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information is then embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass. TSA then scans the barcode (at designated check points in the participating aiports) and the passenger may be able to receive expedited screening.
How to enroll or apply for TSA Pre✓™?
It is simple. Yes, for the most part. Following are the methods in which you can participate and take advantage of TSA Pre✓.
Option 1: (Automatic) Your airline frequent flyer program might already be part of the TSA Pre✓™. In this case, the air line will send you an opt-in email or letter informing your options to participate and qualify for TSA Pre✓™. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America (our favoirte) are part of the TSA Pre program. If you are a frequent flyer or a member of the airline programs, you might be already contacted or you could call the airline to check on TSA Pre✓. This is the easiest way to get enrolled.
Option 2: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs including Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI programs are other ways to enroll and qualify for the TSA Pre as well. In order to enroll through this method, you need to visit the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) website by clicking here and starting your application online. It is actually straightforward. Upon verification and validation, CBP then assigns you a PASS ID and that can be used along with your booking next time you travel by air.
Sally’s Tip: Our recommendation is that you logon to your frequent flyer system and associate the PASS ID before hand (most airlines allow this), so that your travel booking automatically adds the PASS ID and that gets submitted to TSA every time you book travel. This is convenient and avoids having you to do that every time you book it.
Children 12 years and Under: Accompanying passengers 12 years or under with parents are guardian are allowed to pass through the TSA Pre lines as well.
How to confirm that your travel is TSA Pre✓ approved?
Look for TSA Pre✓ logo or wording in your boarding pass, mobile print out, or kiosk print outs after you have printed the boarding pass. Below are some samples to show you how airlines have started incorporating TSA Pre✓ in boarding passes and other ticketing confirmations.
Kiosk Boarding pass with TSA Pre✓ sample 1:
Online Boarding pass with TSA Pre✓ sample 2:
Mobile Boarding pass with TSA Pre✓ sample 3:
Well. I hope that you got a good introduction to TSA Pre program. I think its a great program and you should take advantage of the TSA Pre✓ program and go fast lane next time you do air travel.
Additional Information can be found on the following official TSA Pre website: