Travel Tip: Ensure TSA PreCheck Status

Do you have TSA PreCheck status (aka TSA Pre√) on one airline but not on others?

Read on for a simple solution to ensure TSA PreCheck status every time you fly.

What is TSA PreCheck?

If you have TSA PreCheck status, you can bypass main TSA airport lines and do not have to remove shoes, computers, and liquids. More information can be found at the TSA website.

How to get TSA PreCheck status?

US citizens can apply for TSA PreCheck status directly through TSA. If you already have a Known Traveler Number (KTN) or Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI status, you already have TSA PreCheck status. I have seen airlines automatically assign TSA PreCheck status to some members of their frequent flyer programs. American Express refunds the fees to apply for TSA Global Entry or PreCheck status (for certain card holders).

TSA PreCheck status


How to ensure TSA PreCheck status on all airlines?

If you have TSA PreCheck status on one airline, then you should have it on all airlines. I recently met with a travel industry executive and we discussed this topic. She had TSA PreCheck status on her preferred airline but not on another airline. She discussed it with a TSA official, who asked her if her name was spelled EXACTLY the same on both airline systems. She discovered that they were in fact not the same. She asked the second airline to update her name and now she also has TSA PreCheck status on the other airline.

Once you have TSA PreCheck status, make sure that each airline spells your name EXACTLY THE SAME as on your TSA record.

If TSA PreCheck knows you as “Samantha Brown,” then “Sam Brown” or “Samantha A. Brown” does not match. If your KTN name is “Alfred Edgar Gator,” then “Al E. Gator” or “A E Gator” will not gain TSA PreCheck.

Note that even when the names do not exactly match, you can still travel. You will have to use the main TSA security lines.

Have you used TSA PreCheck?

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5 thoughts on “Travel Tip: Ensure TSA PreCheck Status”

  1. Except that Pre-Check is no guarantee (as even the TSA itself explicitly states on its website). Pre-Check is, at best, an extortion racket. You’re paying protection money to buy back your rights; and that protection money might not work anyway because you can always be randomly pulled out of line for an abusive search, Pre-Check or not.

    More importantly, it’s ethically indefensible: it’s the embodiment of All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.

  2. Nice insight and a good explanation. I’ve read about this TSA precheck and it does sound very appealing. As a frequent flyer who in fact uses US airports probably more than most I find it a bit frustrating that as a non-American citizen I’m ineligible.

    I can to some degree understand the reason why yet there would be great benefit for me and others in a similar scenario. The world is only getting smaller.

  3. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the airport several months ago and discovered I was in this class. Kind of spoils you, but in a nice way. Will continue to be a model passenger so my status isn’t revoked.


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