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Update: A representative from American Airlines emailed us with some clarification regarding this issue: “If you book via a travel agency, you will also want to ensure they have the correct KTN and DOB. For example, how American is setup: if your travel agency submits a KTN, but it is wrong, the AAdvantage profile won’t override the data submitted by the travel agency. However, if the travel agency doesn’t submit any KTN, and we see you have a KTN in your AAdvantage profile, we will automatically add it.” The rep also clarified that American won’t make any changes to the passenger’s DOB if that’s not aligned correctly.

TPG reader Glenn sent me an email to ask about using TSA PreCheck:

“If I’m approved for TSA PreCheck, will I get a card that lets me just walk into the TSA PreCheck line, or do I always have to supply my number when I book my tickets?”

The TSA has received plenty of bad publicity so far this year, as long waits at security checkpoints have continued to make headlines. With domestic air travel predicted to hit record highs this summer, more and more passengers are turning to expedited security programs like PreCheck and Global Entry to trim their travel times. I think these programs are absolutely worthwhile for frequent flyers, but it’s important to understand how they work so you can get your money’s worth.

While Global Entry provides members with an ID card, TSA PreCheck does not. Instead, you’ll receive written notice of approval that includes your Known Traveler Number (KTN), which is what determines whether you’ll be able to use the PreCheck lane on any given flight. If your KTN shows up on your reservation, then you’re all set. If not, then there’s little you can do at the airport to use the expedited lane.

The TSA actually does allow you to add your KTN to existing reservations. Most airlines let you do this by managing your reservation online (the same way you would for seat assignments or other changes), but you can also do it by phone. The most important step is to make sure that the information in your reservation perfectly matches whatever is in your TSA profile. Otherwise, your passenger data won’t be recognized and you won’t be able to use the PreCheck lane.

The easiest way to ensure that your KTN shows up is to add it to your various frequent flyer profiles. That way it will be added automatically to your reservations, and you won’t have to remember to input it every time you book a flight. You’ll need to do that for each airline individually, but keep in mind that not all airlines take part. The TSA recently added four airlines to the list, and both Frontier and Spirit should be added soon, which would bring the total number of participating carriers up to 18.

The TSA has expanded PreCheck to include Aeromexico and several other international airlines.

If you’re thinking of applying for PreCheck, I recommend going for Global Entry instead, since you’ll typically get PreCheck anyway once you’re approved and update your airline profiles. Global Entry only costs $15 more ($100 instead of $85), and it can save you a lot of time when you return home from travel abroad. There are several credit cards that will cover your application fee for Global Entry or PreCheck, which negates the slightly higher cost.

For more tips on how to speed your way through airport security, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Citi Prestige® Card

While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.

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More Things to Know
  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.74%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.