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TSA Precheck

San Diego...
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TSA Precheck

Early this year we were enrolled in the TSA PRECHECK program for free by American Airlines because of the amount of travel that we do.

We have been on a number of trips so far this year at different airports and man it is a dream.

No line, I just put my cell phone in my computer bag, leave my shoes on, no need to empty pockets, leave the computer in its case and just walk through.

leaving San Diego last week we walked past about 50+ people in the regular line and we were the only ones in PRECHECK.

You can enroll with an online application then go to one of the centers, get finger printed and pay $85 for 5 years. In my opinion well worth it if you travel even a fair amount

Maui
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1,474 posts
151 reviews
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1. Re: TSA Precheck

Also check out Global Entry (which includes Pre-Check) if you do international travel. $100 for 5 years.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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43,321 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: TSA Precheck

Thanks, John! The-Pre Check option is wonderful. I had a horrendous experience in Boston last fall - and said "never again!" Flying back and forth to Hawaii wasn't a challenge for me - but Boston was unspeakable (off-season and in the middle of the day, even).

So I applied on line - got my clearance number - and the visited the local office for the ID check and fingerprinting. Whole process took about 15 minutes.

So now I am off to Boston in about 6 weeks ... and looking forward to smoother sailing. (And, of course, I use Pre-Check for Hawaii and other flights as well!)

Phoenix, Arizona
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37,575 posts
953 reviews
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3. Re: TSA Precheck

In most cases, TSA PreCheck is great. We have been in the program from the first moment that UA became active in it, and have watched the number of airports and terminals using it, increase.

However, all is not always peaches and cream. Once at SFO in the old TSA area which serves T3 & International, the PreCheck line was quite long, with only about 4 folk in the regular. We opted for the old take off your shoes, jacket, belt, etc., etc. drill, and zipped through.

Last year, I was flying out of HNL on UA and was PreChecked. I placed my briefcase on the belt, when the agent told me that I had to take off my hat, my blazer, my belt and my shoes. I pointed out that I was PreCheck and she commented that so were all the other folk in the line, but she was making an exception out of me, because I was the only one flying in a blazer. There were no bins, and the belt was covered in pineapple juice from some package before, so I had to hold up the line, to get a bin from the non-Pre line, and disrobe. Guess that if one flies out of HNL, they had better be wearing shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt, a baseball cap and flip-flops... No, not ALWAYS peaches and cream, but most often it is.

Hunt

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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43,925 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: TSA Precheck

Good advice John. I don't fly enough to make it viable for me. I will say that my round trip to Maui this past spring and all my flights from Oahu to Vegas to Colorado and back last fall, I was put in a TSA Precheck line without doing any signing up or paying a dime. My boarding pass had the check on it and I used it. I don't know why, but it was nice!!

Birmingham, Alabama
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5,543 posts
39 reviews
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5. Re: TSA Precheck

Last time I left Maui they were running every line as pre-check .. NICE. I have global entry but i only get precheck about 70 percent of the time. Not sure why, but I always check before going to the airport to find out if I have it, because if not i might need to be a little earlier!

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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23,356 posts
57 reviews
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6. Re: TSA Precheck

They randomly choose tickets to do pre-check. I wish I could figure out the system. I did find that at some airports, notably LIH, they don't have a full pre-check line running if there are not many people waiting to go through TSA, and all you get is leaving your shoes on.

Chicagoland
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20,382 posts
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7. Re: TSA Precheck

I wonder if this is all about to change for the worse for every passenger now that governments are worried about explosives that cannot be detected by X-ray. Hunt has reminded us not to 'dress up', but will we all be traveling in our birthday suits?

Austin, Texas
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1,250 posts
34 reviews
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8. Re: TSA Precheck

My hubby was designated pre-check for about 4 flights in a row and on the way home the last two days nope, regular lines for him again. No idea why the string of pre-checks. From Maui, the security is no big deal, it's the older machines. HNL has the newer machines.

Phoenix, Arizona
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37,575 posts
953 reviews
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9. Re: TSA Precheck

<<I have global entry but i only get precheck about 70 percent of the time.>>

As there are two common ways to get TSA PreCheck - by subscribing and completing the forms, etc., and from being "sponsored" by an airlines' FF program, it would seem that you get yours from the airline. Now, if that is the source of your PreCheck, I can think of a couple of reasons why you might not get it on every flight:

You flew different airlines, and did not have high enough status to get it through your FF number.

The FF number was omitted from the booking*

The airport did not yet have PreCheck

* Only time that one of us has not gotten PreCheck was when on a very complicated set of flights, my FF # was left off of one. I was shocked when I printed our boarding passes for IAD, and I was not PreCheck. It worried me a great deal, but with a bit of research, I discovered the issue, and just made sure that my FF # was added (did not help with PreCheck) to give me credit.

Now, we usually only fly UA, or SWA, and are high enough in the pecking order of FF status, to always get PreCheck. Also, if one buys the SWA Business Select tickets, those will *usually* include TSA PreCheck.

For some time, we flew into/out of TYS, which did not have PreCheck. Same for our home airport of PHX. We would not have PreCheck on PHX - IAD, then would IAD - TYS, but then not out of TYS. Now, both TYS & PHX have the PreCheck, so life is easier for us.

Good luck,

Hunt

San Diego, CA
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21 posts
21 reviews
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10. Re: TSA Precheck

May be someone can help me, because I can not find any info online: we do have Global Entry card, but then I showed it at the security check point, we were still directed to the regular line. I started completing TSA Pre Check application online, and the first thing I read:"If you have global entry, you do not need to comeplte this applications". The circle is closed. What do I do next to be TSA Pre Checked?