As a frequent traveler, one of my biggest frustrations is the security screening process. Even with the benefits of elite status typically allowing a shorter line, the process is at best, an annoyance. I have been following the news about the PreCheck roll out closely, since I would welcome anything to make this process less of a hassle.
Just as a reminder, the TSA describes PreCheck program as:
TSA Pre✓™ is a pre-screening initiative that makes risk assessments on passengers who voluntarily participate prior to their arrival at the airport checkpoint.
TSA Pre✓™ includes U.S. citizens who are members of existing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs including Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI programs as well as eligible airline frequent flyers.
If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information is embedded in the bar code of the passenger’s boarding pass. TSA reads the bar code at designated checkpoints and the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening, which could include no longer removing the following items:
- 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
- Laptop from bag
- Light outerwear/jacket
TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.
Jamie has talked about expedited screening with Delta, and Daniel has discussed the program expanding and his experience with PreCheck on American. I’m selfishly pleased it has finally come to United. United has reported here that TSA Precheck is coming to several airports in June 2012:
Designated Security Checkpoint
Open Date for United Passengers
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Late June 2012
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Terminal South Checkpoint
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
South Pier Gates 10-22
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Lindbergh Terminal, Checkpoint 4
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Checkpoint 5 North
Portland International Airport
*Expedited screening will only be available to customers who check in online, at a kiosk or via a mobile device.
United has posted some eligibility information about this as well:
To apply for this program, you must be a MileagePlus® member and a U.S. citizen.According to the TSA, frequent flyers and members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (USCBP) Global Entry™, NEXUS, or SENTRI Trusted Traveler programs are most likely to be eligible for expedited screening. For more information about finding your Known Traveler/Pass ID (if you are enrolled in one of these programs), please visit the TSA website. You do not need to be a known traveler to apply to this program.
The United website has a page to sign up for this program. If you have Global Entry/NEXUS or a member of other Trusted Traveler Programs, you can put that information into that page which should hopefully increase the chances of being selected for PreCheck.
Some reports have shown at checkpoints that are already set up for PreCheck with other carriers have been allowing approved United travelers to use the simplified screening process. Its about time. This seems like a positive move for all parties involved.
I am flying out of O’Hare in a few weeks, so I’m hopeful (but not optimistic) this will be running by this time.
Have you used TSA PreCheck? Let me know your experiences, I hope to have the opportunity to share mine soon!