Category Archives: Airlines

Tsa pre – Notes

My wife and I just signed up for TSA pre and I thought I’d share some notes on the experience.

  • You signup online at http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck
  • Make sure you do the Pre-Enroll process – it will save you time when you go to Lambert airport. For some reason, I couldn’t do this initially. I made the appointment and then had to go back in do the pre-enroll. My wife however had no problem.
  • Also make an appointment – just in case. It turns out that we didn’t need it as there was literally no one there when we arrived.
  • In the St. Louis airport, it’s on the main floor close to the metro station – they have good signage.
  • The cost is $85 – non-refundable. It’s good for 5 years.
  • You will need to use a credit card – no cash or checks accepted.
  • You also need to bring a passport or birth certificate.
  • The only problem with the whole process is that it was hard for them to get a good scan of my fingerprints. Wash your hands well before you arrive. My wife had the same problem.
  • It will take up to 21 days for them to approve you.
  • You don’t get a card, only a number.
  • When you get your number, go to all the airlines you use and change your profile to include the Known Traveler Number.

NOTE – while I got my number withing three weeks, my wife took two months to get her number because they had trouble getting good finger prints from her.

TIP – make sure your TSA name and your airline information match. If you use a middle name with TSA, make sure that your airline reservations have that middle name also.

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TSA – How to Get TSA-Pre Without Signing Up

I noticed on our last plane tickets to San Francisco using United Airlines, that my wife and I both had TSA-pre status printed on our tickets. When we got to the security lines, we were directed to the TSA-Pre line and zipped through security without taking off our jackets or shoes – Yeah!

I was initially confused as to why this happened, because we have not signed up for the TSA program and paid the $85.00.

It appears now from my experience and things that I read online, that if you have a Frequent-Flyer number from the airline you are flying, then they will give you TSA-Pre status.

What I’ve done now is to sign up with two other airlines and their Frequent Flyer programs – they call them different things.

I’m hopeful that now I will never have to go through a regular TSA screening and can keep my shoes, belts and coats on when I go through the TSA-Pre.