TSA Launches Application Program for TSA Pre-Check

by on July 19, 2013 · 21 comments

in Global Entry, TSA

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The TSA announced that it will launch an application program for those who want to sign up directly for TSA Pre-Check for $85. Currently travelers had to opt-in through an airline’s frequent flier program, or be enrolled in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.

TSA Pre Check

Flyers will now be able to apply directly for Pre-Check.

Starting later this year, U.S. citizens will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints. TSA will start the program at two initial enrollment sites — Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport — with plans to expand to additional enrollment sites nationwide.

To date, more than 12 million travelers have already experienced TSA Pre-Check at 40 airports nationwide, and today’s announcement will expand the availability of this program to a larger portion of traveling U.S. citizens.

The TSA Pre-Check application program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.  Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and the opportunity to go through TSA Pre-Check lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports.

Coming back from Iceland, I was able to avoid these long immigration lines at JFK thanks to Global Entry.

Coming back from Iceland, I was able to avoid these long immigration lines at JFK thanks to Global Entry.

My Thoughts
I think this is a good initiative that the TSA is planning to do, since it means more people will be eligible for Pre-Check, which hopefully means more airports and security checkpoints will get Pre-Check lanes. However, I wouldn’t pay $85 for this since you could apply for Global Entry for $100 which is only $15 more and not only will you qualify for Pre-Check but you will be able to access expedited immigration lines as well. I just came back from Iceland earlier this week and avoided waiting hours in the regular immigration lines.

Also, the other reason to go for Global Entry is many credit cards will refund the fee. For instance, the Amex Platinum, Mercedex-Benz Platinum and Business Platinum cards, all credit the fee back to you as a statement credit for the primary card as well as additional cardholders.

American Express is not the only kid in town giving free Global Entry- if you have the new Citi Prestige card, you can also get the fee refunded, and United Global Services, Premier 1K and Platinum members get reimbursed by United.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Chris

    US Citizens only – as usual.

  • Phil

    Global Entry is available to Permanent Residents

  • Matt P

    Noooooooo! I don’t want the Pre Check lanes to start filling up. The hoops you have to jump through to get the Global Entry pass are partially why there aren’t a million people already doing Pre Check. Now, with the application process being easier, I bet the lines are going to start building in the Pre Check lane.

  • Mercruiser

    NEXUS is the most economical way to get access to these programs. For $50 you get NEXUS, Global Entry, and TSA Pre Check. NEXUS is convenient to apply for if you live in any of the Canada border states – all of the interview locations are in the border states and provinces. I did my interview in Seattle.

  • Sam

    was enrolled in precheck as a United Platinum without doing anything. I switched to US Airways (moved to Charlotte) an am now gold, but have not been enrollee again as far as I know. Does anyone know if you can get precheck on other airlines once enrolled on a specific airline (other than this new application process)?

  • SirJim

    Currently, your trusted traveler info has to be shown on your boarding pass to get entry to the TSA Pre-ck and only 7 airlines have chosen to do this. I have been considering to apply for the SWA credit cards (50,000 pts) but SWA is not participating in the TSA Pre-Ck program so I may not. Has anyone heard anything about TSA/SWA ?

  • Greg

    Unless this means they will be doubling or tripling the number of TSA Precheck lanes at certain airports (e.g. ORD), I worry this will cause significantly more time to get through security. ORD terminal A’s pre-check (and premium security) both back up significantly on Thursday afternoons, even if TSA Precheck does move more quickly. While it’s nice to not take my shoes off, the greatest convenience is the speed through security.

  • adpage

    I agree with this. The priority access lanes in MIA are already a nightmare, I can only imagine how bad things will get if all these people shift to pre-check as well.

  • HM

    I have global entry but that does not automatically get you into precheck , my experience
    What do you have to do to get enrolled into precheck as a global entry enrollee ?

  • ccory1

    You have to ensure your “known traveler number” is included in all your reservations. Have your travel agency include it in your profile or visit each airline’s website and update your profile with this number.

  • Jim

    Same question. Had it on united. Flying delta more now. Seems like pre check is TSA so not sure why its carrier specific (I.e. why it wouldn’t follow you)

  • John Michael Taylor

    “Now, with the application process being easier, I bet the lines are going to start building in the Pre Check lane.” Now consider what the new healthcare law will do.

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  • ogi

    but pre check apparently isn’t…

  • John

    When are they allowing Permanent Residents to use TSA precheck? Permanent Residents with Elite Status of specific airlines can use the TSA precheck, but if you include your “known traveler number” in your reservation, you are off the list.

  • Jake Weinstein

    Do you know what the turn around time for Global Entry is, I just finished applying. Thanks in advance.

  • mikemilzz

    I got a response in about a week to schedule my interview. Only problem was that first interview available in PHX was about 6 weeks out.

  • Jumus

    NEXUS is for the U.S and Canada only. What’s the point of getting it if your international travel takes you to places other than Canada ?

  • thepointsguy

    NEXUS members are allowed to use the Global Entry kiosks once CBP has your fingerprints on file.

  • Jumus

    I got a response in only 1 day! The best place to interview was down in Douglas, AZ next to the border, probably because… well, who lives down there, it’s in the middle of nowhere. The first available interview in PHX Sky Harbor was at least a month out..

  • Dude

    How do you figure? Since I started putting my global entry number my TSA precheck as increased.

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