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This week I flew out of Miami and saw something new – a Trusted Traveler security line that was completely empty and fully staffed. In my 20 minutes waiting in the “priority” security line, I didn’t see a single person use the line. Naively, I thought I might be eligible since I have Global Entry, but apparently you need to enter your Trusted Traveler number in your frequent flyer account to be eligible (I asked and was rebuffed by the snarky TSA agent who told me today wasn’t my lucky day as he pushed me off towards the full body scanner. It almost felt like a Christmas Story and being pushed down the slide… HO, HO, HOOOOOO!)

The real elite lane

Coincidentally, once I landed in Aruba I got the following email outlining the details of the program:

On Oct. 4, 2011 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched an expedited screening pilot program at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport, and Miami International Airport. 

U.S. citizens who are members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI Trusted Traveler programs are eligible to participate in the TSA pilot. CBP has partnered with TSA on this Department of Homeland Security initiative, which is designed to help TSA focus resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers while expediting the process for lower-risk and known passengers whenever possible.

Participation in the pilot will be available only to American Airlines and Delta passengers at:

Airport Airline
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Delta
Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport American
Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport Delta
Miami International Airport American

The pilot program could qualify some passengers for expedited screening through U.S. airport security checkpoints via designated screening lanes, when traveling domestically. Additional potential benefits may include:

  • Keeping shoes on
  • Keeping 3-1-1 compliant bag in carry-on
  • Leaving laptop in bag
  • Leaving on light outerwear/jacket
  • Leaving belt on

At no point, however, is this program an entitlement. Passengers are always subject to random, unpredictable screening measures.

To participate, Trusted Traveler program members must provide their membership number (PASS ID) in the “Known Traveler Number” field when booking reservations or enter it into their frequent flyer profile with the airline. The Trusted Traveler membership number will enable TSA’s Secure Flight System to verify that the traveler is a legitimate CBP Trusted Traveler and therefore eligible to participate in the TSA pilot.    

Find your Trusted Traveler’s membership number by logging into your Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account. The membership number is listed toward the bottom of the page.  The membership number is also on the back of Trusted Traveler cards.  Please refer to the following Web address for a visual reference: http://www.globalentry.gov/tsa.html.

Okay, so if you have Global Entry/Nexus/Sentri and want to do this you need to access the GOES system, which can be found here. To find my ID I simply searched my Gmail for GOES LOGIN and found several emails from GOES SYSTEM SUPPORT from when I applied for Global Entry. Once you have your USER ID, then log-in.

Remember: Your password must start with a number, have uppercase and lowercase and a symbol, so I obviously couldn’t remember mine, but easily reset it upon answering a security question.

Once you are in the system, on the main screen you will see TRUSTED TRAVELER PROGRAM at the bottom with a Membership Number / PASSID. That’s the number you will have to store in your American/Delta account.

For American, go to aa.com -> AAdvantage -> My Account -> Personal Information & Password -> Then you’ll see a spot for Customs and Border Protection ID. That’s where you enter your PASSID.

AA Entry Page

For Delta, go to Delta.com -> SkyMiles -> Manage My Account -> About Me -> Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a section for Secure Flight Passenger Data. Enter your PASSID where it says Known Traveler Number.

Delta entry page

Then you’re done! The next time you go through security at one of the participating airports and you are flying either AA (Miami and Dallas) or Delta (Atlanta/Detroit) you should automatically be selected for Expedited Security from the TSA agent scans your boarding pass. Feel free to report your recent success/failures – I suspect this will become a really great perk for a couple years until everyone else catches up and gets Global Entry or until the masses revolt and they switch the lanes back to general security!

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