TSA Plans to Tighten Up Pre-Check Starting This Month
Photo courtesy of Natalie Behring/Getty Images
You know that nice, friendly Transportation Security Administration worker at the airport who waved you over to use the TSA Pre-Check security line for expedited screening, even though you aren’t a Pre-Check member?
Yeah, say goodbye to that.
In a move that is practical, fair, and more security-conscious, the TSA will tighten up measures at airports that utilize the Pre-Check program beginning this month.
American Airlines sent this email to its AAdvantage members, including one of our colleagues here at TravelPulse.
This month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is making changes to the TSA Pre Trusted Traveler Program that will impact which travelers receive expedited screening. If you're not already a member of one of the Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry or the TSA Pre Application Program, you will probably see a decline in how often you receive expedited screening, even if you've previously "opted-in" through a frequent flyer program.
The best way to increase your chances of receiving TSA Pre on a regular basis is to register for a Trusted Traveler Program with the Department of Homeland Security at dhs.gov/tt. Once you receive your Known Traveler Number (KTN) from TSA, be sure you update your AAdvantage profile.
To add your KTN to your AAdvantage profile:
Login to your account on aa.com and select My Account from the AAdvantage menu
Within My Account, go to the Information and Password tab
Add your Customs and Border Protection 9-digit PASS ID to your secure traveler information
For more information on TSA Pre, visit tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.
The Pre-Check Program was, in theory, a brilliant idea in the wake of increased security measures at airports following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Being pre-approved to go through the Pre-Check lines meant you didn’t have to remove your shoes or belt, and didn’t have to take out your laptop.
However, as the years went on, the program became far more diluted. TSA workers began using the Pre-Check lines to lessen the load and wait time on regular security lines, randomly choosing passengers to go through Pre-Check based on a variety of factors. For example, and full disclosure, this author was chosen last year to go through Pre-Check at Newark-Liberty International Airport even though I wasn’t enrolled in the program — but apparently didn’t fit any profiled security risk, particularly since I was traveling with my nine-year old son.
But that’s how the program became diluted, and even created more backups, defeating the whole process, as many travelers didn’t understand the objective of Pre-Check and began removing shoes, belts, and taking out their laptops.
This new directive should again streamline the Pre-Check process.
More by Rich Thomaselli
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