Be Ready for TSA Changes

TSA guy is singing 12 Days of Christmas, unaware that passengers, most of whom have been up since 5am,
want to pelt him with our 3oz bottles.
– Tweet from @hollyburns

One of the best things that can happen at the start of a flight is to be treated to the TSA Pre✓ (PreCheck) line at security.  In case you have not had this pleasure, going through the PreCheck line means you do not have to remove your shoes or set out your 3-1-1 bag of liquid containers.  You can also leave your laptop in its carry-on bag for screening. It is much more like “the old days” before 9/11 or the shoe bomber incident.

Up to now many airlines have tagged their frequent flyers for TSA Pre✓ status as a complimentary perk. That is about to change.

Frequent flyer “free passes” will be phased out soon. Before long only passengers who have enrolled with a Known Traveler program will receive that status.

If you enroll and establish yourself as a Known Traveler with TSA Pre✓, your Known Traveler number can be added to every airline reservation. If you add it to your frequent flyer profile and provide it to your travel agent, it will be entered automatically. Your TSA Pre✓ status will be recognized no matter which airline you fly.

The TSA Pre✓ number only applies in US airports. People who frequently travel to other countries might want to get the Global Entry Pass which suffices for both international and domestic trips. The Global Entry Pass also allows travelers to be expedited through immigration and customs when entering the US. The Global Entry Pass costs more than the TSA Pre✓ pass ($100 rather than TSA’s $85) but offers significantly more benefits for the frequent international traveler. Both programs are valid for five years.

Photo by Noblige

Photo by Noblige

Not all airports offer PreCheck security lines, nor are you guaranteed access to PreCheck if Homeland Security or its international counterparts deem the world conditions to be at a higher than usual risk level. But before long if you don’t have a number you certainly will not win the TSA Pre✓ lottery.

Consider how often you fly and where (domestically or internationally) and how important it is to you to have the express lane at security. If you want to live in the fast lane it would be good to fill out the form for the appropriate enrollment, get your cash in hand, and set up an interview. Then let me know your Frequent Traveler number so I can help you fly through the airport.

Boundaries divide. Travel unites.

23 April 2015

About Travel Unites

A travel agent since 1994, I want people to get together for greater understanding across boundaries.
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