Posted by: pizzainmotion | May 9, 2013

One Of My Favorite Travel Time Savers Gets Better! TSA Pre-Check Now Available On Some International Flights

I’ve been a big proponent of TSA Pre-Check since its inception. No doubt, the TSA gets a lot of flack for things they do poorly. But, I think they’ve done a solid job with Pre-Check. Here’s why:

TSA saw a need when the original iteration of CLEAR became popular. Whether they saw that need because of CLEAR or on their own doesn’t really matter.

The initial roll-out had bumps and bruises and wasn’t widely available. But, it was a starting point. It was just a few airlines’ customers invited at that point, but it grew to most of the major domestic carriers.

Then, they added the ability to qualify for Pre-Check if you we’re a Global Entry/Nexus member.

Added to that was an expansion to more major hub airports. Then secondary market airports.  Finally, there was a robust list of places you could rely on Pre-Check. But, there were still complaints.

And, they started integrating with CLEAR, making for a super experience in their test airport, Denver.

People were upset that they didn’t know ahead of time if they would qualify for Pre-Check on a specific flight. They said this mitigated the time savings because they still needed to plan for a full security screening.

The TSA addressed that by rolling out a pilot program notifying people on their boarding passes if they qualify.

Critics also noted they couldn’t use Pre-Check on international itineraries. So, TSA rolled out that ability as well, albeit on a limited basis right now. Scott McCartney, who writes the Middle Seat for WSJ has a bit more detail.

Pre-Check isn’t perfect. But, the TSA took an idea and continued to make changes, improving the program at every step. I have no reason to believe there won’t be more improvements/expansion in the future.

If you haven’t found your way into Pre-Check yet, what are you waiting for?  If you haven’t been invited by an airline to enroll, sign up for Global Entry. It’s only $100 for 5 years and will change how you think about security and customs clearance for your travels.

 


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