Is TSA PreCheck the New Slow Lane?

by on October 24, 2013 · 97 comments

in TSA

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

One of the things I appreciate most about having Global Entry – which I got for free thanks to my Amex Platinum card – is the fact that it also automatically gets you access to TSA PreCheck lanes at the airports where they operate, which means that getting through security and to the gate even at busy airports can be a breeze.

However, more and more lately, I’ve been noticing that PreCheck lanes are clogged and sometimes even slower than the normal security lines or those for elite flyers, and a lot of readers have written in to report the same. Now, the site has grown tremendously over the past year and I extol the benefits of Global Entry and TSA PreCheck often, but I didn’t think that many people who read this blog to know about it!

TSA PreCheck isn't feeling so "expedited" lately. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TSA PreCheck isn’t feeling so “expedited” lately. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Most recently, I was flying Delta from LaGuardia and the TSA PreCheck line at the terminal looked like it was a mile long and not moving very fast at all while the normal and elite security lines were chugging along and a lot shorter. The non-TSA agents manning the lines were not checking for TSA Precheck and frankly the whole situation was out of hand. Something is wrong with this picture. Or many somethings.

First, I don’t think that TSA PreCheck line access is being enforced universally. I’m not talking about the actual security measures with the X-ray machine or not removing your shoes, but rather just letting anyone sidle up through that line with its own TSA agent and then just get into a regular security line. While I’m still thankful that for the most part the people in the line seem to be legitimate and even if they get through the ID screening they go into a regular security lane, I just want them out of my way!

Some airports seem to be better about this than others. For instance, the PreCheck lines at my home airport of Miami are always clear and moving, while those at LaGuardia always seem backed up. Some of the LAX terminals that have PreCheck also seem to be fine, even some of the busier ones like in the United and American terminals, but the Delta one there was backed up the other day according to this tweet sent by Johnny Jet from the line.

I'm not the only one noticing this!

I’m not the only one noticing this!

So you just have to know what you’re heading into at a particular airport.

Second, airlines are making it too easy for too many people to join, resulting in a glut of eligible passengers. I think people forget that you don’t have to have a Trusted Traveler number such as one that’s granted to you with Global Entry or Nexus in order to qualify. Per the TSA PreCheck site, “Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways are contacting eligible frequent travelers with an invitation to opt-in. Once the passenger opts-in, the airline identifies the individual as a TSA Pre✓™ participant when submitting passenger reservation information to TSA’s Secure Flight system.” (Virgin is going to start inviting its flyers soon, too.)

These airlines can basically give access to anyone, not just their elites, and I don’t want to go all conspiracy theory about this, but it’s possibly they’re giving it to more and more people to give them elite-like “priority” benefits all paid for by the TSA.

Not only that, but beginning later this year US citizens will be able to enroll online or in person at enrollment sites with just an $85 check, fingerprints and ID and enroll in TSA PreCheck, so there are going to be more eligible flyers than ever, which means longer lines.

Finally, and this is perhaps most disturbing of all, there have been reports on Twitter that non-TSA PreCheck-eligible passengers are getting not only through the TSA ID screening in these special lines, but also through security in the dedicated lanes, which seems like it could be a serious security issue. Granted, it’s hard to verify whether these cases are actually try since I have no idea whether someone in front of or behind me is eligible, but it seems like more and more people are on the lookout.

I don’t mean to sound elitist about this, and hey, if you are a Trusted Traveler or have gotten the okay from your airline, I figure you have as much right as anyone to use these lanes, I just wish these lines weren’t growing at such an exponential rate because it’s undermining their usefulness and convenience.

Has anyone else been experiencing this lately? Share your thoughts below.

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.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Ben Price

    I’ve noticed precheck lines being clogged with the elderly and large families to plea to the agent “please let us through”…

  • Elisa365

    I was at Precheck last week and the two people in front of me were novices trying to take off their shoes and slowing down the whole line. This was at ORD, American. They were mixing prechecks with priority access.

  • FrAAmer

    I am one of the airline invited elites who was finally able to experience Pre-Check last week (my airport opened a lane at my airline’s terminal.) I must say that after breezing through without taking my shoes and belt off – or even removing my laptop – and walking past hundreds of people waiting in the “other” line, I would gladly pay the $85 (or more) and go through whatever interview process was necessary if that is what it took to be a permanent member.

  • Andy

    It’s not a mistake, TSA wants to bring TSA has started to choose passengers randomly for TSA Precheck, thus explaining why there are people in the line who don’t know what they’re doing

  • Trajan81

    Not too shocked by this, but I do agree that its odd they are letting non-verifieds through the entire screening process. Guess that report by TSA about there being no active terrorist threats has trickled down to the airport level. That being said, Global Entry is still worth it just to avoid that damn customs line!

  • Cory

    I haven’t had many problems. Once in MKE I did wait a minute or 2 as a family went through. They didn’t get to use the actual pre check screening, but it appears were allowed to go through the line to get their IDs checked. Otherwise it has worked like a charm. it also just opened in Madison and it was almost hysterical how fast I got through. I am thinking less than 30 seconds from entry to exit. I think it will be airport specific. Kind of like how often high level of elites get upgraded can be determined by the route they fly. So far I have used airports where pre check has been a fabulous experience.

  • Amy

    It was slower than usual at DTW a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t because of people with Pre-check, it was non-pre-checkers trying to go through the same line, slowing down the TSA agents who had to then shuffle them off to the regular line.

  • Francisco

    I’ve had the same problem last week in orlando. It first it was a breeze but last, people taking off their shoes, everything. Didn’t even know how it worked.

  • Mommy Points

    So very true and even the TSA agents I encounter seem to be pretty grumpy about it. I stand in line next to people regularly in Pre-Check who don’t even know what it is or how/why they got it. I try to educate them on how to use it to keep the line moving, but I do think it grew too quickly in the last few weeks without people really understanding how to use the line.

    On the plus side, even when the line looks long, it actually moves rather quickly…at least for now.

  • relucas

    HNL – Awful as the TSA agent allowed entire families in the lane (including parents who have never used it before removing laptops, shoes, etc.). Slowed down regular expert travelers.
    LGA, EWR & PHL have long waits but also lots more travelers vs. other airports.

    TSA needs to implement what has been done at EWR Airport via United. The Pre-TSA line kept increasing in size and they opened another entry point in SecurityCheckpoint 1 + 3. The advantage of TSA is NOT elitist but breeze frequent secured travelers through an otherwise long process. If Psa-TSA can process 30 ppl in 1/2 hour vs. 12 ppl on a regular line – it saves resources. Think of it as an EZPass or SunPass for toll payment as job gets done but less time consuming.

  • Ben

    My in-laws (literally) just left a few minutes ago to go to the airport to fly home :) Both were given PreCheck access by United for no known reason. They don’t have any elite status, do not fly frequently, and have not gone through any screening process. It just printed on their boarding passes. Given that my wife and I just applied for Global Entry it was a little bit of a downer to find out that PreCheck may not be as valuable as I thought it was.

  • Jon

    I can understand the concern with letting non-precheck folks into the precheck line. However a glut of eligibility is a good thing, not bad.

    PreCheck isn’t intended as a frequent-flyer service, it’s intent is to pre-screen flyers who have normal travel patterns to be treated like humans again. All in all, it’s a *good* thing to have more people in PreCheck.

    The issue you’re seeing at LGA is *not* a matter of too many people being in PreCheck, it’s a matter of terrible enforcement combined with understaffing. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, as it’s pretty much par-for-the-course when it comes to TSA.

    But yeah, more eligible people in PreCheck isn’t a bad thing. It’s quite good in fact. But the way it’s being implemented at some airports is just highly flawed.

  • Loren

    I have been saying this in this space and in tweets to you ever since you began extolling the virtues of Pre Check and how awesome it is to fly through security lines. No one seemed to think the lines would ever get clogged up. I was aghast at the idea of regular non-frequent flyers getting the same benefits for a mere $85. I am predicting by this time next year the regular security line will be the shortest.

  • Dieuwer

    Long security lines just means there are too many people flying. Maybe airlines should increase airfare ten fold. That will do the job nicely by cutting off pax. No more clogging of airports by kettles!

  • DWT

    There’s definitely been a change as of late where the TSA is funneling some without PreCheck into the PreCheck lane. Saw this last week in SEA where EVERYONE at that particular checkpoint was being directed to the PreCheck scanner. Hopefully this is just a test they are running.

  • Richard

    I’ve been PreCheck since it started and I’ve seen what you describe with longer lines of late. Also seeing people taking off shoes and not knowing how it works. However, I haven’t seen TSA not enforcing it by letting non-PreCheck people through. I will say though that JFK and LGA are an embarrassment and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they didn’t follow the rules. As far as knowing who is “truly” PreCheck, when their boarding pass is scanned: 3 beeps you’re in, 1 beep you’re (supposed to be) out.

  • Dan

    Agree with Andy, these are people randomly being given pre-check by the airline. I recently traveled with my wife, mother in law, and two kids (one lap), all on the same itinerary. Everyone was precheck but my wife. My mother in law has only flown a few times in the past few years. Most people in line had no idea what they were doing.

  • sportwife9

    It is a problem….used to be so great for frequent travelers who know what to do. It is the same thing as people gaining elite status with credit card purchases rather than actually flying. TOO many elite travelers, elite means less and less to the people who actually fly!!!

  • [flya]

    When I first was invited as AA Exec Plat a couple of years ago, Precheck was a dream come true. Over the last year or two however I’ve been noticing grandma and grandpa, families/kiddies, etc. clogging up the lines. BOS and ORD can be total sh**shows. It is indeed a real problem. The other problem I have noticed is that TSA agents at diff airports will enforce logistics differently – that is, more than once I’ve been told to take off my shoes, remove my laptop, etc. even though in the TSA line.

  • Casey

    I’ve noticed this a lot too and just the other day, my brother (who is not TSA PreCheck) was given access to the Precheck line and got to go through the whole security process like Precheck!!!! Which makes me upset because not only is that bad security, it’s also unfair to those of us who have earned or paid for Precheck.

  • theanswriz42

    Just a heads up, you have a typo on the last sentence of the second paragraph “…but I didn’t think that many people knew read this blog to know about it!”

  • Oldsmoboi

    Time for PreCheck lines for Elite passengers? PreCheck Platinum, PreCheck Gold, PreCheck Silver, and PreCheck Kettle?

  • Kevin S

    When I encounter that situation I actually go through the shortest line (which is sometimes general) and then identify myself as PreCheck to go through the expedited lane. It saves a ton of time…

  • Scott Reynolds

    Sep 17 2013 SFO Terminal 3 United pre-check line was almost 40 people long, just to get to the initial pre-scan. Then there where 15 people in front of me and one conveyor. Yes the normal premium line was only 5 people with two conveyors.

    Sep 16 2013 LAX Terminal 7 United pre-check line was 25 people long for the security check, I waited in the regular line again.

    It’s TSA. They change their operating policies every few weeks with no thought about the flow of passengers. Sometimes they move the lines this way or that and it makes sense, other times they move the lines and processes the other way and you think “why are they so stupid” and then you say “Oh, it’s the government, there is not logic applied”

  • $teve

    YES! Just experienced this at DFW. Not the granting of the status, but the crappy execution by the TSA….the TSA is such a fail.

  • Brian Pickering

    Long lines in MEM last Monday. I spoke to a few agents on two recent trips and they indicate that the TSA Pre selection is now random and I have missed it a few times on recent flights even though all my info is correct in the airline system and I have global entry…….

  • Nik

    This happened to me at ORD on Tuesday in the AA terminal. The regular precheck lane in the Plat/Exp only checkpoint was closed, and there were 50+ people in line for precheck at the main checkpoint (7). The holdup in this case was the guy checking IDs – there was also a priority access line, and he was checking IDs for both, at a rate of roughly 1 every 3 minutes. Took 45 minutes to get though. Inexcusable.

  • MP

    this is not what I wanted to see directly after getting global entry/ tsa pre. Maybe complaining to the airline enough will get me my $100 back.

  • CJM

    The main problem is the “security” people who are manning the gate. They aren’t TSA (not sure how much this would help) and don’t have any clue what TSA Pre is. Another problem is the flyers who think because one member of the family is Pre Check this means that the entire traveling party is also Pre. The fix is to have qualified individuals and a scanning device at the entry gate to the Pre Check line. Not very complicated.

  • paul goecke

    if I have Global Entry I can just go to TSA precheck or do I have to have TSA precheck on my boarding pass? I can use it for any airline? How do they know I belonjg in the TSA precheck?

  • ivisuals

    The biggest challenge regarding TSA PreCheck is that passengers that RARELY travel are being granted PreCheck (, I was talking to a TSA agent about this at McCarran Airport and he was saying that it’s becoming quite challenging for the agents as these passengers have little or no clue what to do in a normal security line at the airport and then are attempting to whisk them through at PreCheck. The line moves slower as these passengers make the typical mistakes (coins in the pockets, etc…), that a normal PreCheck passenger wouldn’t usually make.
    So the party is over at the heavily trafficked airports of the U.S. The PreCheck lines I’ve been in recently at ORD and SFO prove that.

  • NYChiver

    I also noticed a lot more people of the senior variety…meaning replacement hips and knees…and they have to get the pat down regardless of which line they are in. no offense to people with these replacements but you’re not improving your TSA experience and you’re hurting everyone else

  • Jason Steele

    Thankfully, the Pre-Check lines here in Denver are short, but the biggest problem are those who still remove jackets, belts, shoes, laptops, and liquids, just as if they are in regular lines. Nevertheless, I expect things to get much more crowded when Southwest and JetBlue get Pre-check in November. All they need is a little line management, but that has never been the TSA’s strong suit, has it?

  • joeypore

    What I don’t like, is there being two lines, a “general” lane, and a “PreCheck, First Class, Priority AAccess, etc.” lane. There are way too many Priority Access fliers now that that lane gets clogged up. I appreciate airports with dedicated PreCheck lines. I think that’s part of the problem.

  • Santastico

    This is very similar to what Delta did with their Elite status. When the agent calls for “Elite or Medallion ONLY” boarding 99.9% of the gate area stands up and rush into the boarding lane. Nowadays, everyone was made “elite” since all you need to get that status is to open your wallet. I miss those times when elite meant really elite.

  • Will

    FYI to those commenting on pax removing shoes in the pre check line…higher end men’s shoes still need to be removed due to the metal shanks.

  • Rob Caldwell

    Yes! I just flew Delta out of DFW and the TSA agent saw that I had PreCheck. She directed me down the hall to the PreCheck line and it was three times as long as the regular line! So, I walked back down the hall, got in line and made it through a lot quicker than if I had waited. (Funny thing was, as I told her that the line down at PreCheck was much longer, she still was sending passengers down the hall to go and get in line…whatever! :)

  • coffeeplease

    I work checkin for a major airline and it seems if you are above a certain age you get precheck. So now you have people who literally move slower slow the line down

  • thepointsguy

    Boots do, but I’ve never had to take off my shoes going through PreCheck

  • thepointsguy

    Indeed not!

  • thepointsguy

    If you have a Trusted Traveler number from Global Entry you need to add it to your frequent flyer profile of a participating airline, but many people without global entry are being preselected by participating airlines for enrollment

  • thepointsguy

    Maybe we can start a volunteer program of experts to screech out the TSA Pre rules as people wait in line a la normal TSA agents who bark at people in the normal line. Could be fun… For about 10 minutes :-)

  • Scott S

    My brother, Mr. elite.

  • Traveler

    Agree whole-heartedly. I had never encountered this combination until Tampa. The pre-check line was merged with the elite line and it was wayyyy slower. The TSA lady checking ID’s would then go ahead and explain to each passenger the benefits of pre-check. If you are in the elite/pre-check line then you already know!!!!

  • Mike

    I can see this happening a lot in the future, but to TSA’s credit (can’t believe I just typed that), my experience recently on JFK Ter8 and SFO Ter2 has been stellar when it comes to Pre-Check, including denying an elderly woman entrance after her husband has Pre.

  • james

    Went through pre check yesterday in PHX even though the pre check line was longer because my son didn’t have to remove shoes etc. Very nice my 5 year old gets auto pre check when traveling with me.

  • klphan

    I just flew this route myself last week and there was zero wait time both ways!

  • Rob

    Great, another post to shill your Amex Platinum affiliate link… Why no mention of the Platinum Mercedes which gives a 50k bonus? No affiliate money for you?

  • johnathome

    I’m got GE last year so pre-check was an added benefit. LGA just added it last month and my experience has been positive. But my last trip back from ORD on UA, the pre-check line was extremely long (everyone else on the line made the same comment). Have never seen it that long or slow in the past. The premium line was shorter but there was 2 benefits, I didn’t have to take off my jacket or shoes. The other line required folk to go into the Millimeter Wave Scanner which requires you to take everything off. However, there were 2 young ladies (with German passports) heading to Frankfurt that were on the precheck line and had precheck on their boarding passes.

  • Jack

    Gee, all the bloggers post about this often, especially you, and you can’t understand why the lines are getting crowded?

  • WanderingEntrepreneur

    I’ve noticed this at a few airports. JFK T4 has done a great job of policing the lines and keeping passengers out if they’re not PreCheck approved. Also the goal (according to the TSA) is for 70%+ of travelers to have TSA PreCheck, which is awesome, but that will also mean adding multiple PreCheck boarding pass scanners and calibrated metal detectors. I don’t think we can bank on the TSA moving quickly though.

  • Teresa

    Same at IAD – last two UA flights (this month) the lines snaked around the corner. Lots of people in line that were redirected and several asking why they had PreCheck. I wish they had video monitors so you could see all the lines before you go through. I bet regular premier access was a breeze.

  • Mikeatwork

    So now the problem is that the the bloggers post too much about it, otherwise it’d be a secret? Get a grip, Jack. I’ve seen people recently on the line asking me TSA Pre-check is, and having to explain it to them….I agree with the people below that it’s the TSA not keeping up with what they want as demand (70%+ of people).

    And by the by, we would normally be on the same side about criticizing the bloggers, just on this point, you seem like a grump that got up on the wrong side of bed this morning…

  • Jay

    ATL has both.

  • Anton Chuvakin

    That IS weird! So far my PreCHeck experience in SFO, LAX, LAS and MIA was the opposite. PreCheck was either 0 people – walk straight to the plane, pretty much – or much shorter than the Elite/Premium lines.,

  • R

    SAN Terminal 2 has the same problem – the last time I flew – there were 2 general boarding lines, 1 TSA Precheck, which was longer than either of the general boarding lines. Not sure why people kept getting into the TSA Precheck line, too – I got through security minutes faster than the other people.

  • michel

    Denver was pushing the Clear people into the Pre check line when I flew out of there last week. I also got another invite from Clear saying they have Pre access in airports that have it…who would even subscribe to Clear when there is PreCheck I wonder.

  • Baqa

    My mom, a twice-a-year flyer and without Global Entry had PreCheck printed on her AA boarding pass for a flight last week and got three beeps to head on through PreCheck. Any ideas? (this was for a flight SEA-DFW)

  • Laura

    Anyone who wants to avoid the problem described in the article above, I guess.

  • WAnderman

    Though we glided through (global entry & Platinum)MIA to SF yesterday in under a minute there were perhaps a 1/2 dozen in front of us collecting luggage out X-ray and a line forming behind me at 6am. Which was unusual. Will give a shout after heading back through on Sunday at SFO. As to how many read your blog – I have been posting a link to your articles on several blogs such as the Tmobile conversation. I wonder if you had a spike in readers that day. Also we get so much out of the newsletter without having to go to your site. Perhaps headlining each article on the news letter with a link to “Read whole story” can increase traffic, exposure, clicks and hey-we would visit daily -we look forward to each days articles. Your blog has created thousands in value for us in a short period of time. Thanks TG-you rock!

  • Tom Bruno

    Just waited on the Pre Check line at MSP for 20 minutes. Disheartening.

  • Matt P

    I fly from Denver every week and the Pre check lines are getting longer and longer. I used to wait behind 2-3 people who all knew what they were doing. Now, I’ve spent 15-20 minutes behind people who don’t even know the Pre check advantages. I don’t care if it sounds elitest, I want a separate Pre check line for frequent travelers who know what they’re doing.

  • Jason Steele

    That’s too bad, perhaps I got lucky on my last few trips.

  • David Stephens

    At DIA today, they were merging the regular security line into the TSA Pre-Check line after they were checked by security. It seriously backed up the TSA line. This devalues the service that we pay for and lessens the security at the airport.

  • @unitrvl_com

    Just flew BOS DFW on the evening of 10/21 on AA. I’m pre-check, but my companion was not. I was able to get my companion in the Priority AAcess line. He received a Pre-check “card” from the TSA agent, and got to go through the Pre-check line. I asked about it and was told that, “when the regular line is long they put Priority AAcess people through the pre-check line so that they can see how easy it is and request access through the airline or Global Entry.”

    Apparently they received complaints that the belt and x-ray were under-utilized during busy periods (which I have seen at DFW…a 1 hour wait for regular security, and nobody at all in the Pre-check line).

    Hopefully once they notice the long Pre-check lines, they will add more (lines, people, machines, whatever), but I won’t be holding my breath.

  • michel

    TSA Pre was still moving faster than CLEAR and its $179 a year fee good at a whopping 9 airports

  • All About Points

    Denied! I added my Global Entry # to my Virgin America account well ahead of last week’s flight out of Orlando. I was denied by the TSA Pre-Check agent, who said VA isn’t participating. I pointed him to the sign 5 feet away that lists VA as one of the participating airlines.

    He responded by then saying my GE# hadn’t printed on my boarding pass bar code (even though I had scrupulously added it to my VA profile online in anticipation of this trip).

    Even when I pulled out my Global Entry Photo ID card, he still denied me the preCheck line.

    What gives?

  • Questioning

    Adding it to your profile does not help. Why are so many of us Global Entry folks being denied entry if we have done all that we should?

  • pdd3517

    You must have TSA-Pre on your boarding pass. I have also found that randomly my TSA-Pre stamp will not be printed on my ticket and have had TSA direct me back to the Priority/Elite line.

  • Puzzled

    Met yesterday with my attorney who came to DCA from ORD. I asked if he used UA (his usual airline) and he said “I flew AA since they gave me PreCheck status, generally I never fly them.” What gives? Airlines just handing it out like Halloween candy? He said no application, no fingerprints, no background check. Where is the security if the airlines can bypass the due diligence on travelers?

  • Jason Steele

    Just at DEN again yesterday, no body in line for PRE!

  • Matt P

    You must be going to the North side security lines (which admittedly has a short Pre line). The South side line is often 10 – 15 people deep or longer. Unfortunately, the South side line is much closer to United’s counters and the parking garage.

  • daviddenver

    I’ve been in TSA Pre for over a year (I am a United 1K (100,000+ miles a year) and I’ve noticed in the past month that the lanes haven’t gotten incrementally longer… they’ve gotten exponentially longer. I don’t want to sound elitist, either, but I travel 2x a week and TSA Pre is a huge benefit to me since it has cut nearly 30 minutes a week (that’s a full day a year) from my schedule. If it becomes available to anyone, then, how is this a faster way to get through security?

  • TNO4u

    This is what has happened to me and my fiance’ the last couple of trips..
    To quicken the “normal” lines (at least in Houston and Seattle), the TSA is routing families with small children to the TSA pre-check line, because these people are slowing the regular line
    I have literally been stuck behind 3 families with multiple children, strollers, and extra carry-ons (because each child gets 2 carry-on bags for free). Not only that, but the last time this happened, 2 families has passports, for the TSA agent to match up.
    the one consistent thing about the TSA procedures and policies is.. there is NO CONSISTENCY!
    One time I need to empty my pockets of EVERYTHING, the next time they ask me for my boarding pass as I go through the machine (which is on the belt), the next time they want my boarding pass AND ID. Perhaps they do this so the bad guys can’t second the procedures.

  • Patrick Hartough

    Yes TSA Pre check is broken,…. already. On October 19th I flew with my Vice President and her children to Miami. She and her children where given access to the TSA Pre line as indicated on their ticket. I was not. Neither of us have applied for TSA Pre. On the way home her children were given access and we were not. I asked a TSA agent about it. I explained we had not applied for Pre and he said it was just random who gets the designation on the ticket. Wow! By the way, the lines in Fort Lauderdale for the Pre were much longer than the regular line. I went to the website today to apply and cannot get to the application screen. Can someone say Obama care?

  • MLM

    just went through the St Louis Pre Check and it was slow and clogged . The regular lines were faster with less BS from TSA agents . Two weeks prior I went through Honolulu and it was super fast with the Pre Check, what a difference professional TSA agents make. St Louis needs some work to come up to speed.

  • Zeki

    Several things happening. First those over 75 get a Pre-check clearance when they fly. And TSA is trying to sell the benefit of enrolling by allowing random people to go through.

    I’ve been in program from the beginning as part of the Delta FFs who were granted free and early enrollment. There have been a few times in the past that I didn’t get clearance (randomized as their site states) but since September I’ve only gotten through the Precheck lane once and never in Atlanta even when the pre-check line is moving. Perhaps they think that sending through the xray machines is preferable than waiting in a longer than normal pre-check lane. Definitely not to me but I will say that I refused to go on a trip to Pittsburgh so I wouldn’t have to deal with that fiasco.

  • jim

    In MSP the last few weeks I have found many who are in the line and don’t have a clue. In fact they seemed like very infrequent fliers, still taking out their liquids, laptops etc. My personal thought is they were profiled and said no way are they here to harm, so go through recheck. All they do is hold up the line for everyone who knows what’s going on.

  • Million Miler

    In Cleveland the TSA personnel regularly take people from the United Priority line and route them through PreCheck. When I asked why they said they were told to do so to expand the program. I have no issue with the program being expanded as long as the everyone goes through the same process I did to be qualified.
    It isa a pain to be behind people who don’t know how to go through regular security to say nothing of PreCheck.

  • Anastasia

    Just so I’m clear…frequent fliers who actually use the airport all the time (and have traveling down to a science) are a “glut” on the practice, but AMEX Platinum card holders are not? You’re annoyed because people who actually NEED the TSA pre-check can now access it?

  • TL

    Excuse me? I paid for the PreCheck. Now TSA is letting random people through.

  • Don

    I’ve seen obviously non pre-check passengers in the precheck lanes, and allowed the precheck no show removal, no laptop removal etc. privileges, at multiple airports the 6 weeks or so. CAK, SEA, AUS. I’m assuming this is a breach of TSA’s own rules, so I not sure why this is happening. Not to mention that it’s a pain for people who are actually precheck…

  • thebikeman

    Anyone else had issues with LAX TSA Pre?

    As in, I fly a ton at multiple airports across the country and the ONLY one I’ve not had TSA Pre printed on my ticket was at LAX (Terminal 5 Delta). Keep in mind I’ve gone through the application/interview, etc. and have been in the program for about 9 months.

  • Mary White

    The same happened to me recently on Delta on December 17 .My elderly husband got ( as we were notified at the entry to TSA ) ” lottery or by computer or by chance ” The award called PreCheck ..but I the wife and RN with the same name and address ,with good record and no bad history ( as I know?? ) ..I who have been always flying with him and assisting, helping .. I was told ,I was not chosen for this PreCheck.. So my elderly husband said ” no thanks ,but thanks ..I don’t want your privilege ,I will go for regular screaning like everyone and he went with me.. ”
    Are we dividing families…?

  • Mary White

    That’s right ,my elderly husband got this privilege random ,we were told by security services that it was done or by computer, by chance ? It was not exactly clear to us how , he got chosen and never paid for ..he was not even asking for ..I didn’t get ..We both didn’t know until we got our pass boards at last minute.. He refused and he went for regular checkup with me

  • Jimmy D.

    I became TSA Pre 16 months ago after having made a big effort to schedule an interview (for Global Entry) on a Saturday afternoon at Newark airport (opposite coast of where I live). Things were great for most of the last year, but I noticed infrequent travelers in line at CLT. They did not get the telltale multiple beeps on the scanner, which suggests to me that they could have been redirected by local TSA staffers. I do 100k miles a year and need this lane, so lines filled with inexperienced elderly and pre-teen travelers makes me a bit crazy.

  • LynnT

    As the above poster mentioned, and I learned recently, TSA Pre-Check can be randomly “awarded” to people during check-in. My niece, an UNACCOMPANIED MINOR, received such a boarding pass when checking with at IAD with United, yet when I went to the United Desk for my gate pass to escort her through the airport, they denied me the same privilege despite me possessing an elite United status and Global Entry card, and being registered for PreCheck through United. Very frustrating!

  • Russ Karlberg

    Just went through security at BOS – usually I breeze through PreCheck, but today was awful, a very long line. I had to give up and go through the regular line, which was completely empty.

    They seem to be sending everyone through PreCheck now. What is the point of that? Did everyone get a Global Entry interview? It’s really sad – PreCheck was truly awesome for a few months, but now it’s useless.

  • Hahahahaha

    All of you guys are so funny…. Tsa pre check is here because you complain they are too invasive… Now they get something to benefit you you complain again….. I think there should be no Tsa and no security period and just let people walk thru and then let another 9/11 happen and then what will you have to say? If you don’t like to fly catch the boat bus train or drive or walk simple as that! No one cares that your elite… You should have never paid your money…. I hope you keep complaining so they get rid of Tsa pre all together!

  • Providence to anywhere

    Spot on – I’m a frequent Delta flier and have noticed TSA PreCheck line is now a glorified infrequent geriatric flier lane – I loved PreCheck when it was first introduced but now I’m hesitant to even enter the fray – numerous times I’ve overheard fellow passengers in the PreCheck line testifying that this is the first time they’ve flown in YEARS – really? And as I mentioned above the vast majority of these travelers are the often slow and confused older travelers who already benefit from not having to remove shoes, etc b/c of their age. The comment made by the author about the airlines using TSA PreCheck as a govt. paid segue to feign ‘elite’ status is an astute observation. Those of us who fly as a means to fulfill our career obligations are noticing these trends across the U.S. and will ultimately have a voice to deter the ongoing degradation of our right and privilege to access what was initially conceived as one of the smartest moves ever made by the TSA.

  • Maria David

    JUST went thru HNL precheck and probably the most disorganized TSA lane which is consistently longer than any other lane on the inter island terminal; I should have just used the first class lane as I have noted this in the past as I am regular business commuter to Maui– but I thought I didn’t need to remove my computer as noted on previous precheck lines elsewhere including Maui; first the “precheck” line was loaded with nonprecheck passengers; then the TSA agent on the other side rudely shouts for me to show my ID again as I go through the security monitor; then another rude TSA agent informs me that in Honolulu you also have to remove your computer from your computer bag; I informed her that “precheck” implies that this is not necessary from having gone thru numerous recheck lines around the country including Maui; she told me initially she was not aware of this; then she proceeded to tell me that :this is not a “precheck” line despite the clearly marked “precheck” signs……our tax payer dollars clearly not at work / frankly a useless service

  • Sue

    I have received PreCheck each time have flown on Delta for the past 13 months, and suddenly I went to check in today for a flight from ATL to Phoenix and it had disappeared! I’m a Delta Gold. Anyone else experience this? Am I likely to get it back? My personal info is there on the Delta site and nothing about it has changed….

  • Guest

    Just flew BWI to Vegas and back and went through the TSA precheck line at both airports and I’m not a precheck member. Surprisingly they were directing a third of the people from the regular screening line into the precheck line. There were paid member obviously (and rightfully) upset about this due to longer lines. It also seemed disconcerting since non-precheck people were going through with less security screening. It was nice to bypass the long line but seems like the system could lose its integrity if this becomes the normal process.

  • Liz Jones

    TSA is allowing just about anybody to go through TSA Pre Check. Many people have the pre-check on their boarding passes allowing them to go through the pre-check. I fly out of Seattle and it has been nothing but a long line with people not knowing what to do or why they’re in the line. I was traveling with my boyfriend who is not a trusted traveler and they let him through the pre check line in Seattle and SFO. The TSA agents in Seattle told me they are going to try to get most people through the pre-check lines. My mom who does not travel often and is not part of the trusted traveler program came to visit and when I printed her boarding passes, it said TSA pre-check on them. The airport security is a complete joke……………….

  • A guy

    Not only you sound elitist, clearly you are. So… You are very special and it bothers you when there are more like you? I money (you platinum Amex) the source of the reason you demand to be special? I thought this whole thing was about security and safety of the country. Not your elite status and offended ego.

  • JesseJoBob

    Excuse you? Not just no, but hell no! There is no excuse for your arrogant and elitist attitude. I was selected because I am disabled. If you have a problem with that I would be happy to wrap my walking cane around your neck.

  • Emory D

    The frustration is that I paid for the privilege of TSA pre check. I spent my own time to go get fingerprinted drive to an entry port and watch their little speech about it. I followed the rules for the convenience. It’s not fair that I can go to ORD and get in the regular security and get through security faster than ore he I because everyone now gets it. The whole point of precheck was to screen travelers that were willing to be subjected to the intrusion for the privilege. Now that anyone can go through without any additional security checks what’s the point. All we are doing is going back to how screening used to be. Do you feel safer knowing everyone is getting precheck. Let alone the fact that giving to people who never fly and have no idea what they are doing just slows everything down. We might as well just go back to the old days and just have libes for experienced travelers and those who are not. When you fly every week like some of us it would be nice to be afforded sone benefits for our experience. I was willing to even pay for it but I guess I was the dumb one I should have just waited and I could just be given the privilege like everyone else because we are all entitled to be treated exactly the same no matter what why give anyone who has earns the privilege the benefit. That the new American way Right

Print This Page