PreCheck is Now Even Better (Especially For Families!)

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I have had Pre-Check for a while now and it really has had a substantial impact on the ease of travel for my family.  If you aren’t familiar with Pre-Check, then check out this post.  The gist of it is that with PreCheck you no longer have to remove your:

  • Shoes
  • 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
  • Laptop from bag
  • Light outerwear/jacket
  • Belt

You literally just show your boarding pass and ID to the TSA employee, then send your bags (intact) through the conveyor belt, and walk through.  I’ve walked through with boots, a jacket, and a belt with no problem.  This saves you time when you are alone – but it is a game changer when you are traveling with kids.  Basically getting somewhat re-dressed after clearing security with my daughter has been interesting at times…especially when it is just the two of us traveling and I don’t have any help corralling her.

Expedited Screening Banner - TSA Pre Check (tm) is a TSA trademark that uses the checkmark symbol which screen readers normally ignore. Anytime you hear the words, "TSA Pre" know that the correct term is "TSA Pre Check (tm)"

The downside to PreCheck was always that it was a crap shoot whether or not you were going to get it on any given trip.  There were those who found ways to read the barcodes of the boarding pass to tell if they had PreCheck (the one time I tried that it looked like I did not have it, but in the end I did).  Honestly it was not overly practical for many of us to read barcodes before heading to the airport, so now the process has become greatly improved.

Passengers traveling on Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways will start to see a TSA Pre✓™ notification on select boarding passes so you will know if you get PreCheck for that flight ahead of time!  This means that you can plan accordingly with when you arrive at the airport, how you dress, etc.  Remember that children 12 and under can go through PreCheck with an approved parent, so this is something that is great for the whole family.  When I am the only one who gets PreCheck my daughter will come through with me and my husband will wait by himself in the longer line.  We can then regroup on the other side of security, or just meet in the lounge/at the gate. Do keep in mind that having PreCheck on your boarding pass does not necessarily mean that PreCheck is available at that given airport – double check that first. 

If you don’t already have PreCheck, and have not been invited by one of the airlines thanks to your elite status, you can still get access to PreCheck via having Global Entry.  Global Entry is $100 per person, but you can have that fee reimbursed if you have an American Express Platinum card.  This is true for the The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Mercedes Benz Platinum Card, and the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.  If you have authorized user cards (which do come with a fee themselves) then each of those can also have it reimbursed.

Regardless of how you obtain your PreCheck status, it is absolutely worth having if you travel with any sort of regularity.  It makes you start the trip out on a good note without starting it out feeling like you just went through an interrogation of some sort.

If you have used PreCheck, please weigh in on how helpful it is or isn’t for your travels!

Just for your reference, here are the airports/airlines listed that currently have PreCheck according to the official website:

    Alaska Airlines – Austin-Bergstrom International, Chicago O’Hare International, Dallas/Fort Worth International, Denver International, George Bush Intercontinental, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Honolulu International, John Wayne, Logan International, Los Angeles International, Miami International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Orlando International, Portland International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Seattle-Tacoma International and Ted Stevens Anchorage International airports
    American Airlines – Austin-Bergstrom International, Charlotte Douglas International, Chicago O’Hare International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Dallas/Fort Worth International, Denver International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Honolulu International, Indianapolis International, John F. Kennedy International, John Wayne, LaGuardia, Lambert-St. Louis International, Las Vegas’ McCarran International, Logan International, Los Angeles International, Memphis International, Miami International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Orlando International, Pittsburgh International, Portland International, Raleigh-Durham International, San Francisco International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Ted Stevens Anchorage International and Washington Dulles International airports
    Delta Air Lines – Austin-Bergstrom International, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Charlotte Douglas International, Chicago O’Hare International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Dallas/Fort Worth International, Denver International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Honolulu International, Indianapolis International, John Wayne, LaGuardia Airport, Las Vegas’ McCarran, Logan International, Los Angeles International, Luis Muñoz Marin International, Memphis International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Orlando International, Pittsburgh International, Portland International, Raleigh-Durham International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Salt Lake City International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Tampa International, Ted Stevens Anchorage International and Washington Dulles International airports
    United Airlines – Austin-Bergstrom International, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Charlotte Douglas International, Chicago O’Hare International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Denver International, George Bush Intercontinental, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Honolulu International, Indianapolis International, John Wayne, Los Angeles International, Luis Muñoz Marin International, Memphis International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Newark Liberty International, Orlando International, Philadelphia International, Pittsburgh International, Portland International, Raleigh-Durham International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, San Francisco International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Ted Stevens Anchorage International and Washington Dulles International airports
    US Airways – Austin-Bergstrom International, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Charlotte Douglas International, Chicago O’Hare International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Denver International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Honolulu International, Indianapolis International, John Wayne, Lambert-St. Louis International, Luis Muñoz Marin International, Memphis International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Orlando International, Philadelphia International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Pittsburgh International, Portland International, Raleigh-Durham International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Salt Lake International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Ted Stevens Anchorage International and Washington Dulles International airports

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Comments

  1. Precheck – amazing. Showed my Global Entry at Raleigh Durham airport, and avoided the line which was zig zagging worse than a mcdonalds at 7am when the planes first land at ATL. Even the TSA reps are friendlier. I chatted them up as I was going through, and they say that often the “non prechecks” look over and wonder “how do I get there”. Interesting to note that JetBlue and Southwest are not part of the precheck, and my TSA rep said that they would not let them through even if they had the global entry. As always YMMV. Also, I think its up to us as frequent travellers to step it up a notch when we do precheck, and make sure to thank those TSA agents. Obviously they’re manning that side of the booth for a reason. Politeness and friendliness go a long way. 🙂

  2. TSA does list Boston

    (BOS) Logan International Airport
    Updated Dec 20, 2012
    Alaska Airlines Location
    Terminal A Checkpoint

    American Airlines Location
    Terminal A Checkpoint

    Delta Air Lines Location
    Terminal A Checkpoint

    United Airlines Location
    Terminal A Checkpoint

  3. Precheck has saved my butt a few times especially running to the gate (once in SFO and once in LAX). I arrived, in both situations, 20 minutes before the scheduled departure and was able to zoom to gate with a few minutes to spare!!!!

    It is so awesome that I brought CBP into my company to get everyone in my company Global Entry (which goes with Pre).

    It’s worth to note that it looks like Precheck is being utilized more and more in places like ORD so i’ve heard rumors for multiple pre-check lanes coming soon!

  4. I am under the impression if you have Global Entry, you are pretty much guaranteed PreCheck each time, from my own anecdotal evidence, I have yet to be rejected.

    Now that I have said that, watch me get rejected tomorrow at DCA

  5. I’ve had Global Entry and Pre Check for over a year. I made sure my known traveler number was entered in the profile of all my accounts. Not once have I been allowed in the Pre Check line! I travel internationally more than domestically, and I know international is not eligible for this benefit, but on probably 10 or 12 domestic trips I’ve never been allowed in the fast line! Drives me crazy to see everyone else breeze through, and I’m stuck in the slow (well, slowish because it’s usually Priority) line. Anyone else had this experience?

  6. @Nathan especially if you fly UA you have to make sure your name EXACTLY matches what is on your global entry info or it won’t go through. There’s some details on Flyertalk about what is required.

    I love PreCheck! Cuts down hassle, even when the lines are short I love not having to take off my clothes or empty my bag, so I don’t have to feel rushed putting everything back together.

  7. I’m a bit confused by your mentioning only a few airlines. I was under the impression that by having Global Entry you also get precheck no matter which airline you fly. Is that not correct?

  8. bringing the preschoolers through pre check while spouse went through regular line was great and probably sped up the whole process as there was less to explain to the kids (who were excited they went through first!)

  9. -You really do have to make sure the name matches up exactly and I agree United seems to be very particular with this.
    -I’m not aware of other cards outside of the Amex Plats that offer the Global Entry reimbursement.
    -Also it is correct that not all airlines participate at this time.
    -I have Global Entry and I get PreCheck most of the time, but certainly not all of the time.

  10. I have found that Global Entry gets me pre-check perhaps half the time I travel. It’s great when it works, but too random to count on it. Now the Global Entry on international flights back into the US is where the real value is, as that is entirely predictable and saves 30-60 minutes almost every time.

    My sense is that when traveling alone i’m much more likely to get the pre-check than when traveling with family. I have always wondered whether traveling on same booking with wife and 2 kids (none of whom have Global Entry) actually invalidates me from pre-check. Sounds like that’s not the case, I guess my experience has been random.

  11. I have Global Entry…. but only had PreCheck ONCE on 30+ flights this year! At least UA has now updated their boarding pass (and mobile BP) to show if you have PreCheck or not.

  12. My experienc is the same as Nathan above. Traveled >12 times this year with global entry card, but never once was allowed for pre-check. Not a name mismatch issue.

    • BostonWalker, is your traveler ID number entered in the frequent flyer account of the airline you are using? If so, there seems to have to be something wrong in your case since that is not a normal average. My husband and I miss it here and there, but are certainly batting over 90%.

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