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The TSA has been facing some heat lately with its ever-growing security checkpoint wait times, as you’ve probably heard (or experienced) by now. But travelers can help to expedite those long lines in a number of ways, especially by getting TSA PreCheck.
Last month, the TSA announced that it had expanded this service to four new airlines (Aeromexico, Cape Air, Etihad Airways and Seaborne Airlines), and now, two additional US-based carriers might also be joining the program — Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
The two low-cost carriers would be the last of the major US-based airlines to join PreCheck. With the addition of Spirit and Frontier, there would be 18 airlines that offer this time-saving service — Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country, United Airlines, Virgin America and WestJet.
However, it should be noted that Frontier and Spirit won’t be offering PreCheck anytime in the immediate future. A representative from Frontier confirmed that the carrier is planning to make PreCheck available July 31, and as of this writing, Spirit has not officially responded to our request for comment, but the airline did tweet back saying it was working on obtaining TSA PreCheck. Skift, however, has reported that Spirit is preparing to offer PreCheck starting this fall. In addition, a TSA spokesperson told us that no final decisions have been made yet, but mentioned that it’s working with both airlines.
@Emm_McNutt hi Emily, we’re working on obtaining TSA Pre-check for the stations we service. Please stay tuned!
— Spirit Autopilot (@SpiritAirlines) June 15, 2016
The reason for the delay in joining on the airlines’ end involves the software they use, which has not been able to communicate information with the TSA. Software company Navitaire is expected to have the problem solved by July 31 (when Frontier plans to launch PreCheck), but Spirit doesn’t want to risk having technical problems in its reservation system during the busy summer travel season, so it’ll wait for fall.
Keep in mind that several credit cards offer TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for free, such as Amex Platinum, Citi Prestige and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. Although you can register for TSA PreCheck independently, you’re better off getting Global Entry as well since it actually comes with TSA PreCheck.
Ultimately, this could be great news for travelers who could experience reduced wait times when traveling on these two low-cost carriers. Hopefully TSA PreCheck will continue to expand to other international carriers, creating an even more seamless airport experience.
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