TSA to ‘Significantly Reduce’ Access to PreCheck in February
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi Prestige, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, The Platinum Card® from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve
Perhaps the greatest frustration to TSA Trusted Travelers are the many clueless passengers that somehow end up in the TSA PreCheck lines. These passengers not only make lines longer, but also slow things down by not knowing the rules of PreCheck. Well, the TSA has confirmed to TPG that there’s going to be a “significant” reduction in the numbers of these travelers “starting [in] early February 2017.”
Feel like you heard this before? Back in September 2015, the TSA announced it had ended the Managed Inclusion program. Turns out, this was just one part of the program that involved swabbing passengers’ hands for explosive residue before allowing them to use the PreCheck line. While the elimination of that initiative shortened lines a bit, the new reduction coming in just a few weeks should make a much larger impact on the lines.
Citing security reasons, the TSA will not quantify the size of this reduction. From the statement the TSA provided, it seems that the size of the reduction will depend on the impact on each particular airport. That makes sense; if there aren’t many registered travelers using the TSA PreCheck line at an airport, the TSA will invite more low-risk, non-registered travelers to the PreCheck queue to help balance out the lines.
The good news is that the long-term goal of the TSA is “to only have enrolled or pre-vetted passengers in the expedited lanes.” But, unfortunately, “we’re not there yet.” The TSA strongly recommends that frequent flyers — which it defines as three or more round trips per year — enroll in a Department of Homeland Security program such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. We certainly agree, and highly recommend the latter option, since it includes access to PreCheck as well as fast-tracked immigration.
With 30 airlines partnering with TSA to include their passengers in the TSA PreCheck program and this new reduction in the number of passengers who can access these lines, there’s never been a better time to enroll. Just make sure to charge the application fee to a credit card that’ll reimburse the cost, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi Prestige, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
We’re happy to hear that the TSA is working hard to shorten TSA PreCheck lines, as they’ve definitely grown in length over the past year. Someday relatively soon, these lines could be restricted to only registered travelers — and luckily it’s not hard to become one.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Wong of Getty Images.
- Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free and Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
- New! Get ready for your next trip - spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit to get you there sooner.
- Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a 20% savings in the form of a statement credit after you use your Card on eligible Delta in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and audio headsets.
- Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees