Whiz through TSA airport security – Do you qualify for TSA Pre✓™?

Published on: July 1, 2012 | Last Updated on October 21, 2018
TSA Pre-Check will soon be expanded to 35 US airports.

Determine whether you qualify for the TSA Pre✓™ prescreening initiative operating at certain checkpoints at 16 airports and slated for expansion to 35. Eligible US citizens flying domestically on American Airlines, Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines and current members of Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs (including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS) may be eligible for expedited screening.

These programs allow travelers to pass through security without removing shoes, belts, or light outerwear, and permit them to leave laptops in cases and 3-1-1 bags (no more than 3.4 ounces per bottle, 1 clear, quart-size zip-top bag, and 1 such bag per passenger) inside carry-ons. This is how the program works for each eligible group:

■ Airline frequent flyer: Based on TSA criteria, participating airlines permit some of their frequent flyers to opt in to TSA Pre✓™ through the carrier. Once the passenger is accepted, the airline identifies the individual as a participant when submitting the passenger’s reservation information to TSA’s Secure Flight system.

■ CBP Trusted Traveler: Individuals accepted into a Trusted Traveler program are automatically eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓™ when flying participating airlines at participating airports. Passengers need to enter their CBP-assigned PASS ID number (located on the top left-hand corner of their Global Entry card) in the “Known Traveler Number” field when booking their flight. Additionally, program participants can add their PASS ID number to their airline member profile, which is automatically sent to TSA. Information embedded in boarding pass barcodes is read at designated checkpoints where travelers are directed to a special screening lane. It is not necessary for CBP participants to opt in through both CBP and a participating airline.

■ Passengers who are currently not eligible through either prescreening program may opt into TSA Pre✓™ by applying for one of CBP’s eligible programs. Information is available at

Read Part 1 of this article — Whiz through TSA airport security.

[Both parts of this article previously appeared in the Travel Section of the Boston Globe on Sunday, July 1, 2012.]


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