Passing through security clearance is one of the steps of check-in process. Since there is always an effort to make the whole process simpler, easier and faster for passengers, these steps are revisited to make these better. Expediting security clearance assumes importance. Since airport security is government controlled and not by the airline, the government needs to be proactive in initiating this change.
The US government has 4 different programs running for this very purpose of expediting the security clearances for domestic air travel within USA. Some of these are also implemented at the international airports.
a) TSA PreCheck
b) Global Entry
TSA PreCheck (TSA Pre✓®)
Who are eligible for applying for TSA PreCheck?
American citizens or Green Card holders are eligible for this facility. Even foreign citizens can apply for it but they have to meet certain requirements of citizenship or residency.
What is the process of TSA PreCheck?
i) The passengers are required to apply to TSA for participating in this program. Simply click the link https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/workflows?servicecode=11115V&service=pre-enroll and you will be directed to TSA webpage for starting the process.
ii) TSA has set up enrollment centers all over the country. There are more than 1200 of these. After enrolling online, you have to visit any of these centers for fingerprinting, verfication of certain documents like citizenship, immigration and photo ID. The agent present there will meet you for about 10 minutes.
iii) Thereafter, these people carry out a background check and, if all is okay, it is done within 10 to 30 days.
iv) In the end, you are given a KTN, or the Known Traveler Number which needs to be used in the registered profile with the airline you are flying.
What all documents are needed for PreCheck verification?
You must present at least one document from the List A. In case you do not have any document in List A, you need to present two documents from List B (one valid photo ID AND one citizenship proof). List A and B are given below.
LIST A (only one document from this list)
- Unexpired U.S. Passport (book or card)
- Unexpired Enhanced Tribal Card (ETC)
- Unexpired Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Card
- Unexpired U.S. Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or
- Unexpired Enhanced Identification Card (EID)
- Permanent Resident Card (I-551) often referred to
as a “Green Card”
- Unexpired Foreign Passport AND immigrant visa
with I-551 annotation of “Upon Endorsement Serves
as Temporary I-551 Evidencing Permanent Residence
of 1 Year”
- Unexpired Re-entry Permit (I-327)
LIST B (at least one photo ID and one citizenship proof)
|Valid Photo ID||Valid Proof of Citizenship|
|• Unexpired driver’s license issued by a State or outlying possession of the U.S.||• U.S. Birth Certificate|
|• Unexpired temporary driver’s license plus expired driver’s license (constitutes one document)||• U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)|
|• Unexpired photo ID card issued by the federal government or by a State or outlying possession of the U.S. This must include a federal agency, State or State agency seal or logo (such as a State university ID). Permits are not considered valid identity documents (such as gun permits).||• U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570)|
|• Unexpired U.S. military ID card||• U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179 or I-197)|
|• Unexpired U.S. retired military ID card||• Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)|
|• Unexpired U.S. military dependent’s card||• Certification of Report of Birth Abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545)|
|• Native American tribal document with photo||• Expired U.S. passport within 12 months of expiration|
|• Unexpired Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/ Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)|
|• Unexpired Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)|
|• Expired U.S. passport within 12 months of expiration|
How to add KTN Number after PreCheck on airline?
You have to log-in to the airline website and add this number under the Secure Flight Passenger Data. This SFPD is shared by the airline with the TSA. Therefore, all personal information, such as name, etc shall be same on all records. If you are making reservations using offline means, you must make it a point to mention this to the reservation agent.
Please note that KTNs are also issued for Global Entry, Sentri or Nexus Programs
How does PreCheck help at airport?
The KTN must be included in right field of airline reservation and the TSA PreCheck indicator (TSA Pre✓®) must be present on boarding pass and also embedded in barcode.
Those passengers who are selected in this program are required to go directly to the faster PreCheck lane for security clearance. All airports may not be having these lanes. Even if there is no dedicated lane for this, you just have to approach the airline assistants and show them the PreCheck verification for expedited screening. The benefit of TSA PreCheck process is that the passengers who are participating in it are not required to remove their shoes, belts, jackets, laptops and 3-1-1 liquids during security screening at airports.
Please note that any other documentation other than TSA Pre✓® KTN number, such as trusted traveler card of Global Entry, Nexus or Sentri can not be used in its place. Even TSA approval letter can not be used.
What Indicator needs to be printed on boarding pass for availing this facility?
Either of these three shall be printed: TSAPRECHK, TSA PRE, or TSA Pre✓®
Is my family traveling with me is covered under my PreCheck?
The TSA Precheck boarding pass passenger (parent or guadian) can take children of age 12 years or less only through the PreCheck lane at airport.
What percentage of people get PreCheck selection?
As per the TSA, about 99 percent of the people who applied for it get the clearance. Just the unlucky 1% get rejected. However, TSA does sent them letters detailing on why they were rejected and how they can make corrections to get the clearance.
What is the fee or charge for TSA PreCheck?
$85 is the fee for getting the clearance for travel for 5 years.
When does PreCheck membership expire?
The expiry date is given along with membership. You will be notified by TSA about it. The ideal time to renew it is at least 6 months before the expiry date.
How Many Airlines and Airports are participating in this program?
More than USA 200 airports and 73 airlines are currently participating in this program.
The list of airlines is given below:
|Aeromexico||Delta Air Lines||Seaborne Airlines|
|Air Canada||Eastern Airlines||Silver Airways|
|Air France||Edelweiss Air||Singapore Airlines|
|Air India||Elite Airways||Southern Airways Express|
|Air Serbia||Emirates||Southwest Airlines|
|Alaska Airlines||Etihad Airways||Spirit Airlines|
|All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Sun Country Airlines|
|Allegiant Air||Finnair||Sunwing Airlines|
|American Airlines||Flycana||Swift Air|
|Aruba Airlines||Frontier Airlines||Swiss International Air Lines|
|Asiana Airlines||Hawaiian Airlines||Swoop|
|Austrian Airlines||Icelandair||TAP Air Portugal|
|Avianca||InterCaribbean Airways||Thomas Cook Airlines (Scan.)|
|Azul Airlines||Interjet||Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)|
|Boutique Airlines||Japan Airlines||Turkish Airlines|
|British Airways||JetBlue Airways||United Airlines|
|Brussels Airlines||Key Lime Air||ViaAir|
|Cape Air||KLM Royal Dutch Airlines||Virgin Atlantic|
|Cathay Pacific Airways||Korean Air||VivaAerobus|
|Condor Airlines||Miami Air International||WestJet|
|Contour Aviation||Norwegian Air||World Atlantic|
|Copa Airlines||PAL Express||Xtra Airways|
|Philippine Airlines||Qatar Airways||Scandinavian Airlines|
If you have any query regarding this or want to share your experience, please use comments section below for the same.