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TSA Pre-Check

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by smartone, Dec 22, 2013.

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  1. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Man, I have got to figure out how to become a regular on the TSA-Pre-Check deal.

    I've flown 4 times this month (once to Portland and the others to Vegas). On the five-(5) legs of the over all eight-(8), I was selected for the TSA Pre-Check line (showed right in the top left of my boarding-pass). It was sweet... especially my flights Friday and Saturday of this week. The Reno and Vegas airports both, as I'm sure most did, had an unusually high number of "amateurs". Lots of families traveling for the holidays.

    I've always been able to go thru the A-List/Business Select line, but at the airports I frequent, that just gets you to the first checkpoint faster then funnels you back into "general population" for scanning/ metal detection.

    The Pre-Check line allows you to keep your shoes on, laptop in the bag, 3-1-1 compliant liquids stay in the bag and the best part is that you have a separate screening line. It was SOOOO nice.

    I came back and did a little Google search and it looks like it's just a random thing by the computer based on some criteria. I flew out one-leg of a flight and didn't have it, but returned and did. I was looking for an application to fill out and happily pay for, but didn't see anything at this point??? Does anyone have any further info on this program?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  2. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    You're lucky. I've been having the opposite luck lately and getting assigned the SSSS code for secondary screening. It's happened 3 times now this past year. :grrr:
     
  3. chitownjohn

    chitownjohn High-Roller

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    For $100 you can sign up for global entry which makes you eligible for pre-check, as long as you provide your trusted traveler number on your reservations. This requires a short on-site interview with US Customs.

    It sounds like your airline is already providing the benefit to you so it might not be worth the trouble and $$ to get the global entry qualification.
     
  4. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    There are different ways of getting Pre-Check:
    1. Global Entry
    2. NEXUS (This is better than GE since it's cheaper and comes with GE, but the interviews are in Canada or bordering cities (ex. Seattle, Detroit, etc.)
    3. Pre-Check (costs the same as Global Entry but you only get Pre-Check, so this is a waste of $)
    4. Having elite status with the airline
    5. Randomly getting Pre-Check

    Personally, I'm starting to get ticked off with Pre-Check since so many people are being eligible for it,but they don't even have a Trusted Traveler's # through GE, NEXUS, or Pre-Check. Lines are starting to get extremely long and people are unaware that they don't have to take off their light outerwear, footwear, and computers. Why pay for this when everyone is becoming Pre-Check eligible.
     
  5. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    It's an $85 app fee and is good for 5 years. Since you have been selected before, I don't see a problem.

    http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/application-program

    I'll be scheduling mine early next year. You can pre-enroll here.

    https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/

    I'm lucky I'm in Washmet area since the Alexandria. VA location does walk-ins. I'm also close to Laplata, MD which does appointments.
     
  6. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    I had this on my last flight to Vegas. I didn't realize there was anything on my boarding pass, just thought they randomly grabbed people to make the lines go faster. It sure was nice!
     
  7. RIRugrat

    RIRugrat Low-Roller

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    Same here, I was randomly chosen for the McCarran Pre-check line last week on my return flight home. It's the way the security checkpoint process should be for 99.8% of travelers. Quickest ever!

    Chris
     
  8. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    We've had it on our last two trips and it was great. I have no idea why but it was on our SW boarding passes. Maybe it has to do with being a frequent flyer. I wouldn't pay to get it though.
     
  9. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Ms. Gecko, being the frequent traveler she is, automatically got Pre-Check through Delta. But because she also does quite a bit lot of international travel, signed up for Global Entry and talked me into doing likewise. The interview took less than 5 minutes; and amortized over 5 years, it's well worth having. However, you have to make darn sure that your ticketed name exactly matches the name on your Passport/Global Entry or Pre-Check won't appear on your boarding pass.
     
  10. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Maybe partly if you are as frequent of a traveler as smartone with multiple flights per month, but probably not if you're a "frequent traveler" who flies once every couple of months or something like that. TSA won't give the exact process for obvious reasons but say they scan government and private databases to screen out very low-risk individuals. They can include a lot of things including apparently stuff like property records and length of your residency at different addresses.

    I fly a decent amount but used to fly a ton all international and get selected for secondary screening way more than normal, even back in those days. I've read up on it and I apparently engage in what they consider a lot of high-risk behavior. Like buying one-way tickets really close to the flight date, not having a return ticket when I reach my destination. I do this on pretty much most flights I take, including the last couple Vegas trips where I haven't had my return ticket booked until a day or two out while I was already out there. I've moved a lot too both internationally and domestically which is considered high-risk. And being brown skinned probably doesn't help me either. :wink2:

    So just like they look for patterns to determine you are high-risk, they look for them to determine if you're low-risk and selected for PreCheck.

    I'm glad this was posted because reading up on it now I just learned with AMEX Platinum you get reimbursed for the GlobalEntry application fee, which in turn can get you into PreCheck. I'll apply and see if they reject me since I'm usually treated like a terrorist. :poke:
     
  11. bluesdude

    bluesdude Low-Roller

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    My wife and I went in mid November over a weekend flying out of Milwaukee and for both legs we were randomly selected to go through pre-check. No one looked at our ticket and I could not find any marking on our boarding passes that would have given us a clue that we were approved for pre-check. It was like getting a comp from the airlines, Southwest in this case.
     
  12. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    Authorized users can apply for Global Entry and get it waived as well. You can even get the NEXUS fee waived, which is useful if you make a few trips to Canada.
     
  13. Bane

    Bane Tourist

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    Unfortunately, lately the PreCheck lines at some airports can be as long as the normal lines if not more sometimes because TSA is selecting more and more people to use it.

    I believe they do it for two reasons -- 1) to help manage the traffic at security lines by taking in passengers who the computers consider low-risk 2) to help promote the PreCheck program for TSA. The $85 per person adds up.
     
  14. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    ....and even the $85pp doesn't guarantee that person will pass the background check. There are no refunds either way.

    It's like paying for a CLEP/AP test. No guarantee you'll pass but the money is gone.
     
  15. 9wishes

    9wishes Low-Roller

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    I do the same two trips every year on SWA to Vegas. In December, I was Pre both ways. I don't know why, and neither did others around me who also had it on their boarding passes. I wouldn't pay for it, but it was nice.
     
  16. nuggetboy

    nuggetboy Low-Roller

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    I'm not sure how they assign the Pre-check clearance.
    I m a Gold Medallion Skymiles member with Delta. My wife has no standing.
    My wife and I had a round trip over Thanksgiving. I had Pre-check, she did not. Returning we both had Pre-check. We had another round trip (to Vegas) in December, we both had Pre-check going out, coming back, she had Pre-check and I did not. :confused2::confused2::confused2:
    I hate taking my shoes off. :grrr:
     
  17. etm117

    etm117 Low-Roller

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    Just got PreCheck a few weeks back. Used it this week on my SFO roundtrip (I'm writing this from SFO) and Pre-Check was the best. Through security in under 5 minutes both ways. Both times the normal line looked to be at least 30 minutes. Worth every penny of $85.
     
  18. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Whoo-hooo!!! I'm all signed up and ready to rock for next week! They recently opened Reno and Vegas enrollment centers. My approval took all of five-(5) days! Good to have a clean record! Having been randomly selected previously, I know it's no big deal in Reno cause it's usually a slow airport anyways, but it was REALLY nice in Las Vegas!

    http://vegasinc.com/business/2014/feb/10/pay-your-way-out-tsa-routine/?__utma=1.1273270181.1392050392.1392050392.1392050392.1&__utmb=1.1.10.1392050392&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1392050392.1.1.utmcsr=50states.com|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/news/nevada.htm&__utmv=-&__utmk=72832403
     
  19. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    Yup, I'm just waiting till it's closer to my flight to put my app in.

    I have one near my job, my wife has one near her job, and we have one near our home. One even takes walk-ins.
     
  20. weekapaug74

    weekapaug74 Tourist

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    I went through Pre several weeks ago in Denver.

    Everyone entering security had to touch a tablet and then a green or red square appeared on the tablet. It seemed like a completely random process. No one was really getting "selected".

    But it definitely saved me 15-20 minutes judging by the length of the regular security line.
     
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