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Frequently Asked Questions

About the TSA Pre✓™ Program

Here are the most frequently asked questions to help you learn how to participate and receive expedited screening benefits. If you have a Known Traveler Number (KTN), and are not receiving TSA Pre✓™ on a consistent basis, this section will assist you in rectifying the issue. If you just received your KTN, please review this TSA Blog post for additional information on next steps.

Q. What is TSA Pre✓™?

A. TSA Pre✓™ is one of several intelligence-driven, risk-based initiatives helping TSA move away from a one-size-fits-all model to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way. The use of risk-based initiatives will allow TSA to maintain its high security standards and improve the passenger experience while ensuring as many travelers as possible experience the benefit of expedited screening through the TSA Pre✓™ lanes.

Q. Who is eligible for TSA Pre✓™?

A. Travelers that are eligible for TSA Pre✓™ include:

TSA will determine an individual’s eligibility for TSA Pre✓™ on a flight-by-flight basis through an intelligence risk-based analysis of passenger data. A comparison of the four DHS Trusted Traveler programs is available here.

Q. What airlines currently participate in TSA Pre✓™?

A. Eleven carriers participate in TSA Pre✓™: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. TSA Pre✓™ operations are available at 119 U.S. airports.

Q. I just received my Known Traveler Number (KTN). What should I do next?

A. This TSA Blog post provides detailed information on how to add your KTN to reservations and frequent flyer profiles. The FAQs below will also help ensure that trusted travelers with a KTN receive TSA Pre✓™ on a consistent basis.

Q. What is Secure Flight information?

A. TSA collects the following information, known as Secure Flight Passenger Data, for flights into, out of, within, and over the United States: full name (first/middle/last), date of birth, gender, redress number (if applicable) and Known Traveler Number (if applicable). The Known Traveler Number (KTN), sometimes referred to as a trusted traveler number, allows travelers to be eligible for TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening.

Q. How can I participate?

A. Individuals who do not meet TSA’s criteria as a frequent flyer with their airline, are not already a member of a DHS Trusted Traveler program or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces may still be able to participate in TSA Pre✓™ by applying for one of four DHS Trusted Traveler programs (TSA Pre✓™ application program, Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI.)

Q. Can I use TSA Pre✓™ when departing from a U.S. airport to a location abroad?

A. Yes. TSA Pre✓™ is available for passengers traveling domestically within the United States and when departing from a U.S. airport to a location outside the country. Passengers may also be eligible for TSA Pre✓™ when connecting to a domestic flight after arrival in the United States. TSA Pre✓™ may be available full-time or during peak-times at participating airports.

Q. How will I know that I have been cleared for TSA Pre✓™?

A. Travelers who have been cleared for TSA Pre✓™ will have information embedded in the barcode of their boarding pass.  Once the boarding pass is scanned at the checkpoint, the passenger may be referred to the TSA Pre✓™ lane. The 11 participating airlines will also print a TSA Pre✓™ indicator directly on the boarding pass.

Q. TSA Pre✓™ is not available at my airport, why was it printed on my boarding pass?

A. Travelers are vetted for TSA Pre✓™ every time they fly. TSA and airlines cannot limit printing of the TSA Pre✓™ indicator to the 119 TSA Pre✓™ participating airports.

Q. What is a CBP PASSID and/or Known Traveler Number (KTN)?

A. The CBP PASSID, a nine-digit number that usually begins with 98, serves as your KTN. Members of the TSA Pre✓™ Application Program have a KTN that starts with the letters TT. Please provide this number when booking a reservation on one of the 11 participating airlines. KTNs are only active after an applicant complete enrollment at an application center for one of the four trusted traveler programs. This previous TSA Blog post provides detailed information.

Q. If I present my CBP trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI), will TSA allow me to utilize the TSA Pre✓™ lane?

A. No. This card is used by CBP at land border crossings and is not accepted by TSA for expedited screening access. The CBP PASSID, a nine digit number that usually begins with 98, serves as your Known Traveler Number (KTN). Your individual reservation — passenger name record (PNR) — must include your KTN. Travelers can check with the airline(s) to verify their KTN is listed in the PNR. Travelers who have been cleared for TSA Pre✓™ will have information embedded in the barcode of their boarding pass. The 11 participating airlines are also printing a TSA Pre✓™ indicator directly on the boarding pass.

Q. I forgot my KTN. How do I find it?

A. Participants in a CBP program should visit the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) website to obtain their PASSID, which is their KTN. Participants in the TSA Pre✓™ Application Program should visit the Universal Enrollment Services (UES) website to obtain their number. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard should visit this site.

Q. Does my first/middle/last name have to match how I applied for a trusted traveler program?

A. When you receive your KTN, you should make sure your airline frequent flyer profile and any previous reservations include the KTN. Also, please verify that the airline has your first/middle/last name and correct date of birth — it should match exactly how you applied for the trusted traveler program. For example, if you applied for a trusted traveler program as John David Doe, with David being your middle name, your airline frequent flyer profile and reservation should not be JD Doe; it needs to be consistent – first/middle/last.

Q. How do I add my KTN to my frequent flyer profile on one of the participating carriers?

A. You should ask your carrier(s) to update your profile information and/or saved Secure Flight data. By updating your airline profile, you still have to notify your carrier to make sure your KTN/Secure Flight data is in each reservation correctly, the same way you applied for one of the trusted traveler programs. Some carriers will need proof of your full name to make changes to your frequent flyer profile; please contact your carrier directly for more information. NOTE: By updating your frequent flyer profile, that won’t necessarily update any previous reservations.

Q. How do I add my KTN to previous reservations?

A. Please contact your air carrier or visit their website to add your KTN to any previous reservations. The airline can also confirm that your first/middle/last name are in the correct Secure Flight fields. The KTN will be submitted along with Secure Flight passenger data to TSA. Remember to enter your full name, date of birth and KTN exactly as you provided during the TSA Pre✓™ application process or when you enrolled in a CBP Trusted Traveler program.

Q. My KTN is saved in my airline profile. Do I have to add it individually to each reservation?

A. Yes. Even though you have the number saved in your profile, the airline submits your reservation data for an upcoming flight to TSA. Your individual reservation — PNR — must include your KTN. Travelers can check with the airline(s) to verify their KTN is listed in the PNR.

Q. I book my travel via a third-party website and/or travel agency, will I still receive TSA Pre✓™?

A. Yes. However, sometimes the KTN may have been removed and/or the name might not match. At times, third-party systems merge your middle name with your last name in the Secure Flight data. We recommend that when in doubt, call the carrier to verify that your Secure Flight data matches, and make any corrections. This way the odds are in your favor that you will receive TSA Pre✓™ on your next flight.

Q. If I have been issued more than one KTN, which one should I use?

A. A traveler can use any KTN that they have been issued. However, please verify that the airline has your first/middle/last name and correct date of birth that is associated with that KTN. Your individual reservation — PNR — must include your KTN. Travelers can check with the airline(s) to verify their KTN is listed in the PNR. Incorrect name and/or date of birth information would result in the traveler not being cleared for TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening.

Q. If my family is traveling with me, can they also use the TSA Pre✓™ lane?

A. Family members ages 12 and under, traveling with an eligible parent or guardian that has a TSA Pre✓™ indicator on their boarding pass, can participate in expedited screening. However, family members 13 and older must go through standard security lanes or should apply for a DHS Trusted Traveler program for TSA Pre✓™ eligibility.

Q. What foreign citizens can participate in TSA Pre✓™?

A. Foreign citizens enrolled in Global Entry may participate in TSA Pre✓™. To participate, the CBP PASSID, a nine digit number that usually begins with 98, serves as your Known Traveler Number (KTN). Your individual reservation — passenger name record (PNR) — must include your KTN when booking on a participating TSA Pre✓™ airline.

Q. Can I be disqualified from receiving TSA Pre✓™?

A. Yes. TSA maintains a list of individuals who are disqualified from receiving expedited screening for some period of time — or permanently — because they have been involved in violations of security regulations of sufficient severity or frequency (i.e., a loaded firearm that is discovered in carry-on baggage at the checkpoint). Individuals who are disqualified from expedited screening due to violations of security regulations have an opportunity to challenge the underlying violation that led to the disqualification through TSA’s established administrative process. If a passenger believes they are on this list, or would like additional information, contact us.

Q. I still have questions. Where can I find additional information?

A. See these posts from the TSA Blog:

Q. I followed these instructions and still don’t receive TSA Pre✓™. Who can I contact?

A. The TSA contact center will forward your information to the appropriate personnel to research the issue.

Latest revision: 02 September 2014