TSA Pre-check for free

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
momo54
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:25 pm

TSA Pre-check for free

Post by momo54 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:20 pm

I just signed up for TSA Pre-check for my wife and I . I did this based on the new security requirements imposed by the TSA and I thought it was a good idea. Well I though so anyway. A friend of mine says I wasted my money . He says that whenever he flies " primary Jet Blue and Southwest " he always gets TSA-Pre-check on his boarding pass. I asked him if he is a member of a frequent flyer program with Jet Blue and he says he is not. He is with Southwest .
Is he correct about this and I just blew $170.00 like he likes to remind me on this.

jebmke
Posts: 7005
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by jebmke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:24 pm

I don't fly that often but almost always SW these days. I usually get stamped TSA pre but I can't recall if it happens 100%.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

bberris
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:44 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by bberris » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:25 pm

momo54 wrote:I just signed up for TSA Pre-check for my wife and I . I did this based on the new security requirements imposed by the TSA and I thought it was a good idea. Well I though so anyway. A friend of mine says I wasted my money . He says that whenever he flies " primary Jet Blue and Southwest " he always gets TSA-Pre-check on his boarding pass. I asked him if he is a member of a frequent flyer program with Jet Blue and he says he is not. He is with Southwest .
Is he correct about this and I just blew $170.00 like he likes to remind me on this.
I get precheck about 3/4 of the time. TSA threatens to reduce free pre-check; maybe they have. I think the idea of the free precheck was to speed the lines with known low risk frequent flyers. Frequent flyers means people who fly frequently, not members of airline miles.

User avatar
Tortuga
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Tortuga » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:25 pm

Momo54:
I fly SWA and get TSA pre-check every time. I have never applied or paid money for this.

Tortuga

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 3200
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:26 pm

Is your friend over 65? They do sometimes give low-risk folks (typically elderly or teens) TSA-Pre for the day - but it certainly isn't guaranteed - you will never know until you check in.
(Even with having paid - they will occasionally bump you for a random full check).

Avo
Posts: 1097
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:21 am
Location: California

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Avo » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:26 pm

I am not a paid member, but like your friend I sometimes get it for free and I sometimes don't. I fly multiple airlines, a few times per year. I have not detected the pattern, if there is one to detect. My last flight I did not get it.

jebmke
Posts: 7005
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by jebmke » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:27 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:Is your friend over 65? They do sometimes give low-risk folks (typically elderly or teens) TSA-Pre for the day - but it certainly isn't guaranteed - you will never know until you check in.
(Even with having paid - they will occasionally bump you for a random full check).
They might even have some profiling algorithms. Once they have your credit card number they can learn a lot about you pretty quickly.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

User avatar
flamesabers
Posts: 1558
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:05 pm
Location: Rochester, MN

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by flamesabers » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:29 pm

momo54 wrote:I just signed up for TSA Pre-check for my wife and I . I did this based on the new security requirements imposed by the TSA and I thought it was a good idea. Well I though so anyway. A friend of mine says I wasted my money . He says that whenever he flies " primary Jet Blue and Southwest " he always gets TSA-Pre-check on his boarding pass. I asked him if he is a member of a frequent flyer program with Jet Blue and he says he is not. He is with Southwest .
Is he correct about this and I just blew $170.00 like he likes to remind me on this.
The only people I'm aware of that can get TSA Pre-Check for free are military service members and other certain federal employees. Does your friend fall in either of those categories?

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 3200
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:29 pm

jebmke wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Is your friend over 65? They do sometimes give low-risk folks (typically elderly or teens) TSA-Pre for the day - but it certainly isn't guaranteed - you will never know until you check in.
(Even with having paid - they will occasionally bump you for a random full check).
They might even have some profiling algorithms. Once they have your credit card number they can learn a lot about you pretty quickly.
For about a year I was always selected for "extra" screening thanks to their profiling algorithms - so not only was I bumped from the TSA-Pre that I paid for - but I also got to get the full pat-down and bag-check treatment.

Rupert
Posts: 2718
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Rupert » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:31 pm

It's definitely not limited to military and fed employees. It's somewhat randomly given to others as well, just not every time they fly. I've noticed I almost always get it when I'm flying during the summer with my children in tow.

User avatar
mhc
Posts: 3494
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:18 pm
Location: NoCo

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by mhc » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:31 pm

I have flown SW 8 times this year, and I have never had TSA Pre-check for free. At least I have not noticed it. Maybe I should look more closely.

I recently flew Frontier with my family, and on the return flight, my son had it. No one else did.

SirToolman
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by SirToolman » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:34 pm

I've never gotten TSA Pre-check in my life!

Levett
Posts: 4177
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Levett » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:35 pm

A few years ago Delta provided my wife and me with TSA Pre. It was just suddenly there on our tickets. We are members of SkyMiles and do have Delta Amex cards.

Around 2 years ago, we did pay for Global Entry (before Chase Sapphire Reserve offered it as part of a package :annoyed ), and now we are recognized as "known travellers" with several airlines.

Lev

Rupert
Posts: 2718
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Rupert » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:36 pm

SirToolman wrote:I've never gotten TSA Pre-check in my life!
Are you sure? Have you actually looked for it on your boarding pass? The first time I got it I didn't even know what it was. Fortunately, it was pointed out to me by a security agent standing near the end of the long line I almost mistakenly got in.
Last edited by Rupert on Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BeneIRA
Posts: 313
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 pm

I had never gotten free PreCheck before actually getting it via Global Entry. I am sure there is some algorithm of some sort that gives people free PreCheck, but if your friend gets it every time, I guess there's no reason to apply. I don't think you wasted money. Especially Global Entry. Before I had it, I would wait an average of 45 minutes to get through Customs. With GE, it was maybe five minutes. PreCheck is equally valuable. I would have missed a couple of flights without it.

Iliketoridemybike
Posts: 335
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:37 pm

We get it about half the time.

Big Dog
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Big Dog » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:39 pm

I am a paid member of Trusted Traveler, but a couple of times that I flew SW, it was not printed on my ticket. Fortunately, I had my card with me, so I just flashed it to the TSA agent at the pre-check entrance.

NYnative
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:41 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by NYnative » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:47 pm

We fly on several different airlines, depending on the destination. There are several credit cards that include free Global Entry (they refund your fee), which also includes Pre Check. Depending on how often you fly out of the US, it's a much better deal to go with Global Entry for a few buck more than Pre Check by itself. Before we had Global Entry, we received Pre clearance about 50% of the time. And it was common that only one of us would get it and the other had to stand on the long line. The real benefit of having Global Entry is that you avoid the mass mob of people waiting in line when you come back to the US. There is a separate area where you scan your passport and provide your fingerprints and go strait from passport control to customs, where there is another faster line. We came home with friends who did not have Global Entry in June and we were through the process in under 10 minutes. It took them about an hour. BTW, if you leave the US on a non US airline, I haven't found any that use Pre Check. So you have to stand in the long line :oops: .

BeneIRA
Posts: 313
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:52 pm

NYnative wrote:BTW, if you leave the US on a non US airline, I haven't found any that use Pre Check. So you have to stand in the long line :oops: .
Not true. A lot of foreign carriers are starting to partner with PreCheck. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/participating-airlines

Emirates, Ethiad, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines are four I see right off the top who are foreign carriers who participate in TSA PreCheck.

pfranz
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:01 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by pfranz » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:55 pm

Global Entry includes TSA-Precheck (even though they're different programs). Global Entry costs $100 and is good for 5 years. TSA PreCheck is $85 for 5 years.

Before signing up years ago I did get designated for PreCheck once or twice. It actually happened at the gate when I was directed through (it wasn't on my boarding pass).

TSA PreCheck was definitely worth it, but I've definitely had troubles and haven't been able to use it on every flight. Not all airlines or airports participate--but most all do. If you hop around for the best price and use different airlines, you have to make sure a) your Known Traveller's Number (your PreCheck Number) is associated with your frequent flyer number and your frequent flyer number is associated with your ticket. This can also be a problem if someone else buys your ticket for you (even if the names match). You don't find out if PreCheck "worked" until you're issued your boarding pass and it's either there or missing. On Southwest, for example, they have to re-issue your boarding pass (bumping your spot) and even they don't know for sure if it'll work until after they re-issue the boarding pass.

These things might have gotten better, but it's happened multiple times to me over multiple years.

SirToolman
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:35 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by SirToolman » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:58 pm

Rupert wrote:
SirToolman wrote:I've never gotten TSA Pre-check in my life!
Are you sure? Have you actually looked for it on your boarding pass? The first time I got it I didn't even know what it was. Fortunately, it was pointed out to me by a security agent standing near the end of the long line I almost mistakenly got in.
Yes, I most definitely check! I don't travel too often though, maybe once or twice a year.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 1633
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:08 pm

Iliketoridemybike wrote:We get it about half the time.
It's been about 50/50 with me too in the past. I suspect it may be airport or even traffic-dependent.

But I just got pre-check for free with the Chase Sapphire card. Well, not REALLY for free because you pay something for the card. But it's a perk you might as well take. It's nice to have but I wouldn't have paid list price for it.

I would have done the global entry thing but it would have meant a special drive to the airport.

User avatar
Cosmo
Posts: 1151
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:46 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Cosmo » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:41 pm

I was told that Pre Check TSA is totally random. My unscientific survey says that we get Pre check TSA 1/6 times. Is it worth it? That's for you to decide. I don't fly enough for it to matter but with Pre Check TSA, you no longer need to be there 1.5 hours ahead of time for domestic flights.

Cosmo

Nate79
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Nate79 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:46 pm

Well if you look at the masses of people in the security line vs TSA pre check line it is clear that the odds are not in your favor to get it for free.

smitcat
Posts: 768
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by smitcat » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:47 pm

NYnative wrote:We fly on several different airlines, depending on the destination. There are several credit cards that include free Global Entry (they refund your fee), which also includes Pre Check. Depending on how often you fly out of the US, it's a much better deal to go with Global Entry for a few buck more than Pre Check by itself. Before we had Global Entry, we received Pre clearance about 50% of the time. And it was common that only one of us would get it and the other had to stand on the long line. The real benefit of having Global Entry is that you avoid the mass mob of people waiting in line when you come back to the US. There is a separate area where you scan your passport and provide your fingerprints and go strait from passport control to customs, where there is another faster line. We came home with friends who did not have Global Entry in June and we were through the process in under 10 minutes. It took them about an hour. BTW, if you leave the US on a non US airline, I haven't found any that use Pre Check. So you have to stand in the long line :oops: .
Yes - this is what we did a few years back and the global entry was free on our Amex card. It has been wonderful when security is tightened and the crowds are large - well worth the visit to the TSA for the interview and the card. Renewals are much easier then as well.

User avatar
flamesabers
Posts: 1558
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:05 pm
Location: Rochester, MN

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by flamesabers » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:55 pm

Rupert wrote:It's definitely not limited to military and fed employees. It's somewhat randomly given to others as well, just not every time they fly. I've noticed I almost always get it when I'm flying during the summer with my children in tow.
I don't understand the rationale of giving out the TSA Pre-Check at random. Short of someone being suspected of engaging in activity like espionage or terrorism, I don't get how a person could be deemed a low enough risk to get the TSA Pre-Check for one flight but not another. When I looked through the requirements to apply (and pay for) the TSA Pre-Check, one task is going through a in-person interview. Why are the standards not being applied consistently? :confused

User avatar
jimmyq
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:34 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by jimmyq » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:11 pm

I have never received free Pre-Check. Maybe I'm just unlucky, or maybe I'm not old enough to qualify. Who knows. I'm just jealous that some people are getting this for free. I can stomach the wait in the long line when I know everyone is treated the same. But if some people are getting to zip on over to the short line without paying... well, that's not very fair. But then I remember the words of wisdom from my father, "Life isn't fair".

Colorado13
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Colorado13 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:27 pm

I've flown three times since May and have had it for free on one of the three trips.

Thesaints
Posts: 962
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Thesaints » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:50 pm

As a Delta higher-level elite I got it without exception for a few years, until March. Haven't got it once since.

This P me O to no end. TSA has consistently considered me a low risk for security and suddenly they want $100 for continuing to do so ? It makes no sense!
First of all, the $100 fee does not even cover their costs for processing the application, etc.
Secondly, by using the pre line I'm saving them money! It is them who should be paying me.
Instead of trying to weed out low-risk passengers, they should do the opposite entirely. The more low-risk passengers they can identify, the more they can turn their security lines into low-tech, less personnel intensive, faster processing ones. Everybody wins: passengers go through quickly, TSA spends less and they can concentrate resources on non-low-risk passengers.
Instead, they chose an everybody loses policy...
Last edited by Thesaints on Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3342
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Steelersfan » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:16 pm

I'm over 65 so that might matter, and I get pre-check for free about 80% of the time on several different airlines.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 1633
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:14 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Rupert wrote:It's definitely not limited to military and fed employees. It's somewhat randomly given to others as well, just not every time they fly. I've noticed I almost always get it when I'm flying during the summer with my children in tow.
I don't understand the rationale of giving out the TSA Pre-Check at random. Short of someone being suspected of engaging in activity like espionage or terrorism, I don't get how a person could be deemed a low enough risk to get the TSA Pre-Check for one flight but not another. When I looked through the requirements to apply (and pay for) the TSA Pre-Check, one task is going through a in-person interview. Why are the standards not being applied consistently? :confused
I don't think it is completely random. I think they choose randomly from a class of passengers they have decided are safer, either because they are known frequent fliers or old or whatever.

I think they choose the numbers they assign to precheck so that the TSA-Pre agents have enough to do and so the other agents can focus on more questionable passengers.

munemaker
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by munemaker » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:28 pm

flamesabers wrote:
momo54 wrote:I just signed up for TSA Pre-check for my wife and I . I did this based on the new security requirements imposed by the TSA and I thought it was a good idea. Well I though so anyway. A friend of mine says I wasted my money . He says that whenever he flies " primary Jet Blue and Southwest " he always gets TSA-Pre-check on his boarding pass. I asked him if he is a member of a frequent flyer program with Jet Blue and he says he is not. He is with Southwest .
Is he correct about this and I just blew $170.00 like he likes to remind me on this.
The only people I'm aware of that can get TSA Pre-Check for free are military service members and other certain federal employees. Does your friend fall in either of those categories?
People who carry travel credit card from First National Bank of Omaha get free Global Entry which includes TSA precheck.

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5468
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:56 pm

I flew three round trips on two airlines in the past five weeks. I got TSA Pre-Check randomly on half of the trips. That's as a member of both airlines frequent flyer programs and booking about two months in advance.

I've been waiting until the summer passport rush dies down to get my passport. Once that's done, I'll be using my CSR benefit for the reimbursement of Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fees to sign up for Global Entry. With the new screening rules, I don't want to run the chance of not getting Pre-Check. 50% success is 50% too low.

westie
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by westie » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:59 pm

I fly SWA about 6X a year. I've gotten TSA PreCheck every time for more than 10 years.

260chrisb
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:26 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by 260chrisb » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:01 pm

I've got Global Entry that includes TSA pre check and don't always get it??? For the record it's the best money I ever spent and has been great more times than not. The first time you sail thru security with 381 other people in line you will think the same thing!

User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 3456
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:15 pm

Iliketoridemybike wrote:We get it about half the time.
I was apparently getting it a bit less than half the time and didn't know what it was until someone pointed it out to me on my boarding pass.

In the meantime I decided to pay for it. I fly in/out of Denver where the lines can get quite long.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

richardglm
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by richardglm » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:35 pm

It is not random. When they launched the program they did give it out semi-randomly to a lot of people, because otherwise the lines would be empty. It was also marketing to get people to sign up.

There are some lucky people who seem to get free Pre-check on every flight. Most people I hear that about are more than 70 years old.

You didn't waste your money, Pre-check is well worth it for anyone who travels more than occasionally.

User avatar
Nearing_Destination
Posts: 692
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Nearing_Destination » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:51 pm

I seem to be given it almost all the time...
Last edited by Nearing_Destination on Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

TravelGeek
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:53 pm

munemaker wrote:
flamesabers wrote:
The only people I'm aware of that can get TSA Pre-Check for free are military service members and other certain federal employees. Does your friend fall in either of those categories?
People who carry travel credit card from First National Bank of Omaha get free Global Entry which includes TSA precheck.
There are a number of credit cards that reimburse either Pre-Check or Global Entry (e.g. Amex Plat, Chase Sapphire Reserve). I personally don't consider it "free" when I pay $450-550 a year in annual fees for the card benefits :)

But I assume what flamesabers meant is that military service members get Pre-Check access for free and without additional background check.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-proc ... -travelers

TravelGeek
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:55 pm

richardglm wrote: You didn't waste your money, Pre-check is well worth it for anyone who travels more than occasionally.
Yes. Given the many people in regular screening lines, it's not like everyone gets it most of the time without signing up and those who do just wasted their time.

I personally consider Global Entry fee the best $100 I ever spent :)

munemaker
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by munemaker » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:15 am

TravelGeek wrote:
munemaker wrote:
flamesabers wrote:
The only people I'm aware of that can get TSA Pre-Check for free are military service members and other certain federal employees. Does your friend fall in either of those categories?
People who carry travel credit card from First National Bank of Omaha get free Global Entry which includes TSA precheck.
There are a number of credit cards that reimburse either Pre-Check or Global Entry (e.g. Amex Plat, Chase Sapphire Reserve). I personally don't consider it "free" when I pay $450-550 a year in annual fees for the card benefits :)

But I assume what flamesabers meant is that military service members get Pre-Check access for free and without additional background check.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-proc ... -travelers
I would not consider it "free" if you pay an annual credit card fee. The people who carry the travel credit card from First National Bank of Omaha do not pay an annual fee and get free global entry which includes free TSA pre check; it truly is free. They also pay for $100 of bag fees per year if the bag fees are charged separately from the air fare.

They do not just mail you a card. You do have to fill out an application and go to an interview. I guess that is the background check you refer to.

Rupert
Posts: 2718
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Rupert » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:19 am

flamesabers wrote:
Rupert wrote:It's definitely not limited to military and fed employees. It's somewhat randomly given to others as well, just not every time they fly. I've noticed I almost always get it when I'm flying during the summer with my children in tow.
I don't understand the rationale of giving out the TSA Pre-Check at random. Short of someone being suspected of engaging in activity like espionage or terrorism, I don't get how a person could be deemed a low enough risk to get the TSA Pre-Check for one flight but not another. When I looked through the requirements to apply (and pay for) the TSA Pre-Check, one task is going through a in-person interview. Why are the standards not being applied consistently? :confused
I think people traveling with children are generally considered to be low risk, and during the busy summer vacation travel season, they like to push families with small children through the security lines as quickly as possible. It's probably the same with senior citizens. There is some method in the madness. As for OP's question whether paying for Pre-Check is worth it, I think it definitely is if you frequently fly out of a major airport with consistently long security lines. If you live in a smaller town and just fly occasionally out of a smaller regional airport, it's probably not worth paying for.

abner kravitz
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:42 am
Location: Beaufort County, SC

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by abner kravitz » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:34 am

I get it free on about half my flights. On my last flight I had it, and failed to look closely at the boarding pass until after I went through security :annoyed

If I flew a lot, I would definitely pay for Pre-Check.
Last edited by abner kravitz on Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

LarryAllen
Posts: 753
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:41 am
Location: State of Confusion

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:37 am

For a few dollars you will always be TSA-pre (for 5 years). That's worth it. Occasionally the lines can get very long. Don't overthink it.

spectec
Posts: 950
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:00 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by spectec » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:47 am

Like many others, my wife and I would get TSA Precheck about 60-75% of the time on a random basis. But since getting Global Entry 2 years ago, we've never failed to get TSA Precheck on domestic flights. Plus, we get to skip the lines at Customs & Immigration when returning from overseas. It's nice to breeze past the aircrew and diplomats' desk on the way to the G/E Kiosk. On at least one occasion I've avoided a missed connection thanks to Global Entry, when my inbound flight arrived late and lines were very long at C&I. (That one missed connection alone would have cost much more than $100 in extra airfare & aggravation. )

Without a doubt, Global Entry is the best $100.00 I've spent on a travel-related expense for my wife and myself. (or actually $20 per year, since it's good for 5 years).
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

NYnative
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:41 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by NYnative » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:21 am

TSA Pre check is included in the price of Global Entry, which is why you get it all the time now :D .

Grateful1
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Grateful1 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:28 am

I have been regularly getting TSA Pre-check without having signed up for it. I had thought this was perhaps because with a federal job related security clearance I was know to be low risk. But maybe I am assuming the various government computers talk to each other more than they do. Maybe not.

Lynette
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:47 am

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by Lynette » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:41 am

I always get it on Delta which I use 90% of the time as it is the major carrier for my closest airport. I cannot remember when I did not get TSA Pre-check and I fly a lot. But I'm 73 - has some advantages. Some smaller airports do not have TSA Pre-check - can't remember what happened there. To me the main advantage is that I don't have to take off my shoes or take out all of my electronic gear.

dashtadj
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by dashtadj » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:45 am

Even if you only fly one RT a year it's completely worth it at $17 annually (85/5) - you literally save at a minimum 30 mins for each flight, most times more than that. There have been times I've gotten to the airport 30 mins before departure and it's only taken me 5 mins through security line, at gate in under 10 mins easily

tibbitts
Posts: 6990
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: TSA Pre-check for free

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:46 am

So I would definitely buy Global Entry, but when I last looked enrolling required travel out-of-state, during weekdays when taking days off carries a heavy price (when you have only three weeks vacation) beyond the cost of travel to the location. And I can just picture showing up and being rescheduled - ugh. So I'd say it's almost completely useless for many people. It's like Costco membership - nobody is going to drive 200 miles to buy something at Costco, unless maybe they start offering free shipping...

It'll be just my luck that every Costco will become a Global Entry enrollment center - leaving me with the same problem! :-(

Anyway it's important for everyone to understand that the actual cost of Global Entry for a lot of us would be relatively high, even if you get the fee reimbursed by Chase or somebody else.

Post Reply