Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How To Sign Up To Participate in TSA Pre✓™

TSA Precheck Logo
We’ve been getting a lot of interest and rave reviews since rolling out TSA Pre✓™ earlier this month and travelers have been asking  how they can sign up.

The good news is that you may already be eligible and just not know it. This summer, after partnering with American and Delta airlines, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify a limited group of potential participants to test the expedited screening concept, each airline and CBP sent communications out to the participant pool telling them how to opt into the TSA Pre✓™ pilot. If you are a United States citizen and an existing member of one of CBP's Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS or one of the more frequent flyers with Delta and American you more than likely received one of those communications.  This might be a good time to search your inbox to find it!

There’s more good news:  if you didn’t get the initial communication or accidentally tossed it,  there is still a way to participate in TSA Pre✓™. Read on…

If you are a United States citizen and are currently a member of CBP’s eligible Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS), you are automatically qualified to participate in the TSA Pre✓™ pilot as long as you are flying on a participating airline at a participating airport.  (If you’re a more frequent flyer with Delta or American, you must opt in to the program by responding to the communication sent to you, which is why it’s important to find that email and follow the directions in it.) 

The most important thing to know about TSA Pre✓™ during the pilot phase is:
  • Participants flying on Delta Air Lines must be flying out of either Atlanta (ATL) or Detroit (DTW)
  • Participants flying on American Airlines must be flying out of Miami (MIA) or Dallas/Fort Worth   (DFW)
This applies for both the participating airline frequent flyers and the CBP Trusted Traveler participants. 

Booking Reservations
So now you’re ready to book your flight, and you want to participate – what do you do?  Current members of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS programs just need to place their PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field when booking their reservation. 
So now you’re ready to book your flight, and you want to participate – what do you do?  Current members of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS programs just need to place their PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field when booking their reservation.
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Frequent flyers who have already opted in through their airline don’t need to do anything more – the airlines will send confirmation of their participation when they send us the passenger’s Secure Flight data. 

At The Airport
American Airlines’ participants  must  use check-in kiosks at the airport to print their boarding pass.  Delta Airlines participants do not.  

The next important step is to go to the specific checkpoint that has been specially configured for TSA Pre✓™ at each airport. At these checkpoints, an officer will scan your boarding passes to verify that you are eligible, and if you are, direct you to the expedited screening lane.  If you go to the wrong checkpoint, you’ll miss the opportunity for expedited screening.  So if you’re eligible and flying anytime soon, I’d keep the information below with my boarding pass:

TSA Pre✓™ Checkpoints:

  • Atlanta: T-South Checkpoint (Delta only)
  • Dallas: Terminal C, Checkpoint C30 (American only)
  • Detroit: Checkpoint 2 on the ticketing level (Delta only)
  • Miami: D2 Checkpoint (American only)
The last key point I wanted to pass on is that  opting into the pilot will not guarantee expedited security screening for every flight. We have built random and unpredictable factors throughout the aviation security system to guard against terrorists gaming the system and this program is no exception.   

I’m not done passing on good news. If you’re a United States citizen and not currently a member of one of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs, you can join one now and be eligible for TSA Pre✓™ after you’re enrolled.  Here are the basic steps for applying:

Go to the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) page and register for a CBP Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account. Once registered in GOES, you can move forward with your enrollment in one of the CBP eligible programs. If you’re having trouble, you can go here for a presentation on how to locate a PASS ID (or Membership Number) in the GOES account.

And if you’ve gotten this far in the post and are still wondering what the heck TSA Pre✓™ is, you can take a look at this blog post from our Administrator, John S. Pistole or check out the info at TSA.gov.  

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TSA Blog Team