The Aviation Minute: Episode 8 – TSA PreCheck

By Robert Mark on April 25th, 2014

TAM Final LogoRGBI can’t believe I’m going to say something nice about the TSA again. That’s twice in a couple of months.

I do think it’s worth mentioning that the TSA has actually created a product with value in their new TSA PreCheck card, part of the DHS’s Global Entry system. Of course there is just one tweak I think it needs desperately. Give a listen and tell me if you agree.

Rob Mark, Publisher

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If you’ve missed any back episodes of the The Aviation Minute, you’ll find them here in our archive.

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4 Responses to “The Aviation Minute: Episode 8 – TSA PreCheck”

  1. Jerry Miller Says:

    Hi Rob,

    You described me to a “T” on my recent air travels, beginning at a major air carrier airport. My boarding pass had “TSA PreCheck” printed on it, and I had no clue what it meant, or why I was selected for it.

    I thought I was going to go through TSA Security two times – an initial quick check (the PreCheck), followed by an in-depth security check. When the TSA agent told me I didn’t have to take off my belt or perform any of the other usual indignities, I reflexively began doing what I have been conditioned to do as in all the past airport security rituals.

    During my vacation, I researched TSA PreCheck on the Internet and then understood it quite well. However, my flight home originated at a small airport where the PreCheck didn’t give me a pass – I was randomly selected to receive the full pat-down. The TSA agent was courteous and professional, as has always been my experience in many travels, but these episodes remain somewhat unsettling.

  2. Marc Aronson Says:

    As to “pre-check” Rob, I want to note that I fly Southwest 99% of the time. One day, without asking me, all of a sudden I was a pre-check customer. I paid nothing for this privilege, have no “card” that indicates that I’ve been approved, but my boarding pass so notes. And when I had to fly United the other week, I was pre-checked there also.

    Yesterday I was coming back home from Tampa. There were 200 people in the regular line, only one in the pre-check line. I cannot express to you how happy I was, and continue to be, with the concept of pre-check. Whomever thought of this idea should get the Nobel Prize for creating happiness in the human race!

    PS: Still have to take off my very comfortable “SAS” band shoes as they have metal plates in them, but that is it, and a small price to pay indeed.

  3. Moshe Greenberg Says:

    I’d like to respond to Rob’s Aviation Minute segment concerning TSA Pre-Check. I don’t purport to reply on behalf of the TSA, but I believe your suggestion that they allow random passengers to fly through the Pre-Check lane without removing their shoes, belts, etc. would not be possible to implement from a security standpoint.

    The whole idea behind the Pre-Check program is that you have already been pre-screened, and found to pose no threat.

    Based on the background check performed, the TSA is willing to relax their standards a bit, and let you through with your shoes and belt on, with your laptop in its case, etc. However, the random passengers who are sent by TSA staff to the Pre-Check lane to “whet their appetite” for Pre-Check membership have not been pre-screened; they pose the same threat level as anyone else and would therefore need to complete the more stringent security screening process.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to this week’s episode!

  4. Dr. Dave Says:

    I agree – best thing yet for TSA. I get now grumpy when there is no TSA Pre line or when they random code travelers to sample the good life.

    I was an early adopter of CLEAR…traveling in and out of MCO, it made perfect sense 5 years ago (got behind one large tourist family on a busy day and they had me at $100 please) but all CLEAR really did/does was allow you to cut in line for screening. Funny, I used CLEAR a few months back with TSA Pre – it actually slowed me down.

    Only complaint was what took them so long? I recommend going straight to Global Entry (more value and lasts longer)

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