TSA Pre-Check Rolling Out To International Carriers

With the addition of Air Canada yesterday, TSA is now embarking on a process to enroll international carriers into the PreCheck program.  As noted in the article by Scott Mayerowitz of the AP, the airlines will need to deploy minor technology updates to participate:

Airlines need to first update their computer systems to embed extra information in their boarding pass barcodes as well as printing a PreCheck logo.

I’ve been a huge fan of PreCheck since it was rolled out about 4 years ago, signing up for Nexus/Global Entry to increase my chances of getting into the PreCheck early on.  At my home airport, Washington Dulles, I can get out of my car and be through security and on my way in as little as 4 minutes.

This is the right step for PreCheck, IMO.  It’s also a much better step than the current process of picking random folks out of the regular security line and dumping them into PreCheck.  Doing so puts people unfamiliar with the process in lanes that move much faster, slowing down all the passengers behind them.  Just this past weekend on my crazy trip back from Seattle, one of my traveling companions made it through the premium security line before I made it through PreCheck even though both of us entered at the same time and I had a relatively short line at PreCheck.  The folks in front of me were not familiar with the PreCheck process and slowed down the line considerably.

That’s not their fault.  And I understand TSA’s concern that they need more people going through PreCheck to justify the expense.  I’ve got to imagine that the expansion of PreCheck to include international carriers means means being able to feed those PreCheck lines with travelers who are accustomed to the PreCheck security procedures.  That’s good for all travelers.

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My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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  1. I complained while in line to an agent and was told to go to the TSA website and enter a complaint, so I did. I crafted my message to focus on the premise of a trusted traveler program of prescreened passengers, not just a speed lane. Sure enough my complaint was viewed as being about speed of the line which is what I was told is not the goal of the PreCheck line, “although a longer PreCheck line should move faster than a shorter regular line due to the process being faster.” My comment to the agent was, “Pulling in people randomly makes a mockery of a trusted traveler program where people are supposedly prescreened. The TSA is nothing more than theatre.” I believe that’s becoming true. I got my PreCheck via Global Entry which has greater scrutiny, perhaps getting TSA PreCheck alone isn’t as deep a check and I am wrong but I just don’t see this as better security in it’s current state.

    1. Scott, my hope with the addition of international carriers and TSA encouraging folks to enroll formally in PreCheck is that the lines will have enough experienced folks in it so they don’t have to randomly pull inexperienced folks out. That should meet their goal of having more time to screen folks who present a greater threat while still serving someone like me quickly.

  2. I provided this report to TSA following a very concerning event a few weeks ago:

    “I realize the debate over whether the goal of PreCheck is to provide a faster lane. That really is not my issue here.

    I and 1 of my traveling companions is PreCheck and Global Entry. A third was an inexperienced new traveler. This third person was permitted to go through the PreCheck lane with us. Unfortunately he was behind me so even I was not able to help him know not to remove belt, laptop, liquids, shoes, etc….needeless to say as I looked behind me after I cleared, my inexperienced friend was causing a huge delay to the numerous other “trusted and trained” travelers behind him!

    While you might think this makes me happy that your agents “profiled” my friend and allowed him to follow me, it raises great concern as to the reliability and intent of a trusted traveler. It also slows down that line greatly as the unapproved person is also untrained! The integrity is suspect, and the value placed on those of us that travel a lot, pay the fee, and subject ourselves to greater pre screening is now questioned. How can I advocate othe frequent travelers enroll in PreCheck and Global Entry? The value is gone.

    It also raises potential legal and practical issues associated with profiling passengers by the agents.

    Think about it!”

    1. Profiling is what we WANT them to do!

      And just go to Dulles on a spring or summer morning or afternoon and tell me preCheck isnt valuable! The security lines are 60-90 minutes. 🙂

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