Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

TSA PreCheck Experience

TSA PreCheck Experience

Old Mar 2nd 2020, 2:22 pm
  #1  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 352
scottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond repute
Default TSA PreCheck Experience

I've started travelling a lot for work recently so decided it was time to get TSA PreCheck. The whole process was super easy so thought I'd share here in case anyone is wondering. You can apply online, it just asks a few basic details, and then find the nearest registration location and book an appointment. The appointment itself takes maybe 5-10 minutes, it's for the most part the same as the Biometrics appointment with USCIS, just getting photos, fingerprints, and signature, which they then send off to FBI for a background check. They also take payment at the same time. They don't ask any questions or interview you, just ask you to confirm the same info you provided online.

The guy at the appointment told me I'd receive my Known Traveler Number (KTN) within a week, but in reality it was closer to 4 weeks before it arrived. Totally worth it though, makes going through security a complete breeze and removes a lot of stress! As an added bonus, my credit card provider had an offer on and they gave me a credit for the application fee, so it didn't even cost anything! Once approved the registration lasts for five years, and it's open to most Citizens and Permanent Residents.


scottyvisa is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2020, 4:40 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 35
ss120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond reputess120396 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Yeah, Precheck is pretty nice. But I'd recommend Global Entry instead, it's only $15 more and also gets you expedited entry at US immigration lines along with all the Precheck benefits. Another benefit is that all UK citizens can apply, you don't need a US passport or green card. There is an "interview" with CBP but it's a joke. Mine was just "do you have a criminal record?" "No" "You're all set!".

Even better than that, if you live near the Canadian border, get NEXUS. It comes with Precheck, Global Entry, is half the price of Global Entry ($50), AND gets you expedited entry at Canadian immigration lines and expedited security screening in Canadian airports similar to Precheck. Though like Precheck, you need a US passport or green card for this one.

Last edited by ss120396; Mar 2nd 2020 at 4:46 pm.
ss120396 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd 2020, 5:47 pm
  #3  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 936
sherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

I did my Global Entry 'interview' in Canada while I was coming back into the US. I did get asked questions such as what kind of work I did, what my spouse did and why I had visited certain middle eastern countries. The interview took about 10 minutes after a 20 minute wait in secondary.
sherbert is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2020, 9:31 pm
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 9,727
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Another observation - you have to enter your 'known traveler number' whenever you buy a ticket so that it prints on your boarding pass. I have mine setup in my 'profile' with American Airlines, but if I fly with some odd-ball airline I have to remember to enter it at the time of booking (or immediately after).

Also - it works 'sometimes' for international flights. If you fly, for example, on AA to the UK, you will get TSA Precheck on the outbound flight but if you fly on some non-US airlines, they don't give it to you. I can't remember which ones didn't let me have it - perhaps Thomas Cook or Iceland Air?

Definitely worth the few bucks and few minutes it takes to get it!
Steerpike is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2020, 9:45 pm
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,065
retzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond reputeretzie has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by ss120396 View Post
Yeah, Precheck is pretty nice. But I'd recommend Global Entry instead, it's only $15 more and also gets you expedited entry at US immigration lines along with all the Precheck benefits.
I agree that GE is wonderful BUT it is no longer available to New Yorkers (read more), thanks to the infinite wisdom of our supreme leader. So we can run down any current membership, but they won't process new applications or renewals. Absent any resolution, TSA Pre is the best we can get right now.

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Also - it works 'sometimes' for international flights. If you fly, for example, on AA to the UK, you will get TSA Precheck on the outbound flight but if you fly on some non-US airlines, they don't give it to you. I can't remember which ones didn't let me have it - perhaps Thomas Cook or Iceland Air?
It never works on QANTAS. Every time I fly back to Oz, I am reminded how much I have become accustomed to the luxury of not taking all my crap out of my bag.
retzie is offline  
Old Mar 3rd 2020, 9:54 pm
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 89
Winston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond reputeWinston_the_Great_Dane has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by ss120396 View Post
Yeah, Precheck is pretty nice. But I'd recommend Global Entry instead, it's only $15 more and also gets you expedited entry at US immigration lines along with all the Precheck benefits. Another benefit is that all UK citizens can apply, you don't need a US passport or green card. There is an "interview" with CBP but it's a joke. Mine was just "do you have a criminal record?" "No" "You're all set!".

Even better than that, if you live near the Canadian border, get NEXUS. It comes with Precheck, Global Entry, is half the price of Global Entry ($50), AND gets you expedited entry at Canadian immigration lines and expedited security screening in Canadian airports similar to Precheck. Though like Precheck, you need a US passport or green card for this one.

A note of caution: my recent GE application took 5 months and 3 weeks to be conditionally approved. TSA pre-check is much quicker to obtain. Unless you travel international a lot you might be better off with TSA pre-check alone

also, the interview wait was ~4 months. Fortunately I was traveling to Europe in Feb, so managed to get it done on return.


Winston_the_Great_Dane is offline  
Old Mar 4th 2020, 3:29 am
  #7  
Powder Maggot
 
AdobePinon's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Nuevo Mexico
Posts: 4,451
AdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond reputeAdobePinon has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

I did GE last year (also paid by the credit card). Took a couple of weeks to get the interview. Interview was about 5 minutes, and I got the KTN on the spot. Card came about a week later.

Like standard TSA, Precheck policies vary from place to place. For example, some places allow metal belt buckles through the metal detector, but a belt with a plastic buckle is a worthy investment.

Also, note that if you have multiple credit cards that pay for GE/Precheck, you can also use the credit for someone else - just needs to be paid on the card.
AdobePinon is offline  
Old Mar 4th 2020, 8:16 pm
  #8  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 352
scottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond reputescottyvisa has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Yes my main reason for PRE over GE was the application time and local interview options. GE will be nice one day but I travel domestic twice a month and international maybe once a year.
scottyvisa is offline  
Old Mar 4th 2020, 8:19 pm
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 33
catweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

If you have a Canadian connection, it might make more sense to apply for Nexus. That's actually half the cost of TSA PreCheck, and combines the benefits of Global Entry, PreCheck, and SENTRI (Mexican Border).

That said, I've never experienced any real benefit from TSA PreCheck. The PreCheck line at Detroit Metro airport is usually at least as long as the regular line. That will of course depend on the particular airports one travels through.
catweazle is offline  
Old Mar 5th 2020, 3:52 am
  #10  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 9,727
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by catweazle View Post
If you have a Canadian connection, it might make more sense to apply for Nexus. That's actually half the cost of TSA PreCheck, and combines the benefits of Global Entry, PreCheck, and SENTRI (Mexican Border).

That said, I've never experienced any real benefit from TSA PreCheck. The PreCheck line at Detroit Metro airport is usually at least as long as the regular line. That will of course depend on the particular airports one travels through.
Even if the line is no shorter, it should move faster and be less troublesome because you get to keep your shoes on, leave your laptop in your bag, etc.
Steerpike is offline  
Old Mar 5th 2020, 1:47 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 33
catweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond reputecatweazle has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Even if the line is no shorter, it should move faster and be less troublesome because you get to keep your shoes on, leave your laptop in your bag, etc.
This much is true. But I think that the US govt has accepted so many TSA PreCheck applications, that the benefit is now limited at best. Cynical minds may wonder if the govt likes doing as many extended background checks as it can.
catweazle is offline  
Old Mar 5th 2020, 6:18 pm
  #12  
BE Commentator
 
S Folinsky's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 7,397
S Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond reputeS Folinsky has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Even if the line is no shorter, it should move faster and be less troublesome because you get to keep your shoes on, leave your laptop in your bag, etc.
I agree.

i also think GE is nothing but wonderful. If possible, your home airport should be your US port of entry.
S Folinsky is offline  
Old Mar 6th 2020, 10:10 pm
  #13  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,813
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

I discovered recently that TSA Precheck status extends fo everyone that you book tickets for at the same time. I have it, my boyfriend does not. But when I booked two tickets for us recently to fly to visit my daughter in Texas, his boarding pass showed up with the TSA Pre status too! Nice bonus, although slightly weird that the authorities are presumably then just taking my word that he’s safe to not need to fully screen.
kodokan is offline  
Old Mar 6th 2020, 11:35 pm
  #14  
tht
DE-UK-NZ-IE-US... the TYP
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,386
tht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond reputetht has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I discovered recently that TSA Precheck status extends fo everyone that you book tickets for at the same time. I have it, my boyfriend does not. But when I booked two tickets for us recently to fly to visit my daughter in Texas, his boarding pass showed up with the TSA Pre status too! Nice bonus, although slightly weird that the authorities are presumably then just taking my word that he’s safe to not need to fully screen.
I booked a ticket for my mother and was not even traveling with her and she got it...
tht is offline  
Old Mar 7th 2020, 5:02 am
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Steerpike's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA / Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 9,727
Steerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond reputeSteerpike has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: TSA PreCheck Experience

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I discovered recently that TSA Precheck status extends fo everyone that you book tickets for at the same time. I have it, my boyfriend does not. But when I booked two tickets for us recently to fly to visit my daughter in Texas, his boarding pass showed up with the TSA Pre status too! Nice bonus, although slightly weird that the authorities are presumably then just taking my word that he’s safe to not need to fully screen.
When I was travelling a lot, if would get TSA Pre on my boarding pass 50% of the time without asking for it and without having 'qualified'. I heard it was something of a 'promotional' thing and/or possibly a perk for frequent flyers. But I presume they do at least 'some' level of screening ... perhaps ... . I wonder if you'd still get it if your name happened to be 'Osama Bin Laden II' ?

This article speaks of a bill to limit some 'abuses' - https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnnyj.../#6b688ea410a2 . But this only attempts to limit 'use' to those who have it on their boarding pass. How I, and others referred to in this thread, were able to get it on their ticket without even applying is a bit of a mystery!
Steerpike is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.