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How To Sign Up To Participate in TSA Pre✓®

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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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 youre ready to book your flight, and you want to participate - what do you do Current members of CBP Global Entry SENTRI or NEXUS programs just need to place their PASS ID in the Known Traveler Number field when booking their reservation.

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.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Weaklyflyer on

Awesome, so even though I'm a green card holder I never get to qualify?

You do know that by the time I get my green card I have gone through two FBI background checks already right?

Submitted by RB on

What percentage of flyers does this group who have been offered this program represent? Less than 1%? And at what cost to the taxpayers?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Great idea (not) - make screening reasonable for some and continue the ridiculousness for the rest, in particular international visitors, who know better security and will know better not to return to the US in the future.

Submitted by Sean on

Is there any value in possessing a TWIC card (Transporation Workers ID Credentialling) when it comes to expedited airport screening or registering/applying for Pre-check, GOES, etc? The DHS conducts a detailed background check and collects biometric data prior to issuing this security credential.

Submitted by TrackerNeil on

I'm frankly skeptical of this program. What happens if the program is cancelled six months after citizens submit all the required personal information? Is that information purged from the TSA's records? If so, who independently verifies that this has been done?

Submitted by TrackerNeil on

I'm frankly skeptical of this program. What happens if the program is cancelled six months after citizens submit all the required personal information? Is that information purged from the TSA's records? If so, who independently verifies that this has been done?

Submitted by Nadav on

There is one question left unanswered in both posts about this new system: what is expedited screening? Less people in line or a less strict screening?

It's hard to convince people to volunteer their personal information when they don't know what they're getting in return.

Nadav

Submitted by Alex-sterling on

I have a NEXUS card, and try to use it at the airport to get through the checkpoint. However, most of the time the TDC doesn't know what the card is, and I have to ask for a supervisor.

Will this program have any effect on TDC's knowledge and awareness of NEXUS cards?

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

The government doling out privileges in exchange for loyalty...Marx and Lenin would be very proud of you, Under Secretary Pistole.

How can I become a trusted traveler? How can I become a trusted subway rider? How can I become a trusted driver? How can I become a trusted bus passenger? How can I become a trusted mall shopper?

I so desperately want my government to trust me. I'll do ANYTHING -- spy on my neighbors, say something when I see something, answer all of the BDO's interrogation questions -- to earn the trust of my government!

I just want to be trusted! It would make me feel proud and much better than my friends who you don't trust.

Submitted by Anonymous on

And again, the FUNDAMENTAL question remains unanswered--

Just WHAT does 'Expedited Screening' mean? What is the benefit to the passenger for turning over a bunch of personal information? Just a separate line, no shoe removal, no patdown, or something totally different?

Why is TSA blatantly ignoring answering this basic question???

Submitted by Anonymous on

Nadav said...
"There is one question left unanswered in both posts about this new system: what is expedited screening? Less people in line or a less strict screening?"

They don't want to answer because the likely truth is the screener at the airport can probably still do pretty much whatever they want to do.

At best, being in the program slightly reduces your chances of being molested.

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

OpenID alex-sterling said... Will this program have any effect on TDC's knowledge and awareness of NEXUS cards?
---------------------

Hi Alex. I think it will. One of the reasons some of our officers don't recognize them is that they're not as common as other forms of ID. I think we recently did some refresher training on NEXUS cards. Are their any specific airports where you have the most problems with you card?

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Alex-sterling on

Thank you for your response, Bob, I appreciate it. I guess I'm a little confused by what you wrote though. The reason I try to use my NEXUS card, and part of the reason I got it in the first place, is that the TSA website says it's one of the DHS Trusted Traveler cards, and when I talked to someone at DHS (can't remember who) they told me the same thing.

I figured that meant TSA employees were trained on what are "Acceptable IDs". If this is the case, then it's weird that they wouldn't recognize them. If it's not the case that TSA employees are trained on it, then I feel foolish for assuming I could use it just because the website said so, and for going through the process of getting one!

So, I guess can you tell me if there's there any way I can get a refund on my NEXUS card, if they aren't getting trained on it in the first place?

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information will be embedded in the bar code of the passenger’s boarding pass. TSA will read the barcode at the checkpoint and the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening, which could include no longer removing the following items:

•Shoes
•3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
•Laptop from bag
•Light outerwear/jacket
•Belt

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Sean - Not at this time. As with any pilot initiative, if proven successful, TSA will explore expanding the program to additional passengers, airports and airlines.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Alex,

Our officers are trained to recognize NEXUS cards. Especially those who are working at the pilot locations for PreCheck.

They are an acceptable form of ID at our checkpoints. Which airports are you having trouble at? Please let me know and I'll advise them they may need some refresher training.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

What is the cost of this program expected to be when fully implemented?

TSA is the blackhole of expenditures!

Submitted by RB on

Blogger Bob said...
Alex,

Our officers are trained to recognize NEXUS cards. Especially those who are working at the pilot locations for PreCheck.

They are an acceptable form of ID at our checkpoints. Which airports are you having trouble at? Please let me know and I'll advise them they may need some refresher training.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

October 19, 2011 12:04 PM

..............
It is TSA's claims that TSA employees are highly trained.

Of all the ID's that are posted as acceptable by TSA Nexus is number three on the list.

(http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm)

U.S. passport
U.S. passport card
DHS "Trusted Traveler" cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
U.S. Military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DOD civilians)
Permanent Resident Card
Border Crossing Card
DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
Drivers Licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
A Native American Tribal Photo ID
An airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
A foreign government-issued passport
Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)


Why is it that TSA can't even teach its employees to recognize the third listed ID on TSA's own list?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob said...
They are an acceptable form of ID at our checkpoints. Which airports are you having trouble at? Please let me know and I'll advise them they may need some refresher training.

I can't speak for Sean, but I've had recent issues with Nexus at SEA, PHL and EWR. When they are shown a print out from your Blog or website, they say it's out of date instead of looking into the issue. Hate to break it to you, but your guys are lazy, Bob. They take the path of least resistance.

Screenshot saved.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
Blogger Bob said...
They are an acceptable form of ID at our checkpoints. Which airports are you having trouble at? Please let me know and I'll advise them they may need some refresher training.

I can't speak for Sean, but I've had recent issues with Nexus at SEA, PHL and EWR. When they are shown a print out from your Blog or website, they say it's out of date instead of looking into the issue. Hate to break it to you, but your guys are lazy, Bob. They take the path of least resistance.

Screenshot saved.

October 19, 2011 1:14 PM

...........

I think everyone should wonder if TSA employees can't even recognize the third listed ID on TSA's own list then just how competent can these same TSA employees be at other screening functions?

Submitted by Alex-sterling on

Thanks again, Bob. I'm sorry the discussion has spiraled a bit out of control with other comments.

In your first comment you seemed to acknowledge that some TSA employees aren't knowledgeable about NEXUS cards, and even gave a reason why ("One of the reasons some of our officers don't recognize them is that they're not as common as other forms of ID"), which I initially felt was a perfectly acceptable reason.

But in your last reply to me, you mentioned that TSA employees were "trained to recognize NEXUS cards. Especially those who are working at the pilot locations for PreCheck." Maybe it's just me, but it seems like these two are in contradiction to each other. At first you're saying not all TSA employees are able to recognize NEXUS cards, but then you say they are.

Also, I have to confess, I'm unsure how to interpret your last reply. In particular, what do you mean that someone is "especially" trained? I don't want to seem glib, but to me either someone is trained or they aren't, right?

As for which airports, I don't remember them all offhand, but off the top of my head: HSV, SAT, GSO, PVD, RDU, MHT, LEB.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Pathetic. Shoes, liquids, laptops, belts, and jackets present no threat to anyone, anywhere, and you know it. So why are you demanding piles of information so a small portion of the flying public doesn't have to deal with your insane harassment, instead of just letting EVERYONE not have to remove shoes, liquids, etc.?

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Alex,

Our officers have been trained, but according to your comments and other comments I’ve seen elsewhere, there are still officers out there that haven’t recognized the NEXUS card. The reason I gave for this earlier is that some of our officers don’t see them regularly and that may be why some don’t recognize them. As I did with the airports mentioned earlier, I’ll reach out to the airports you mentioned and let them know you’ve had trouble.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob said...
"... the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening, which could include no longer removing the following items:"

I'm not impressed.

"may be referred" and "could include" are meaningless and tell us nothing.

Submitted by RB on

Blogger Bob said...
Alex,

Our officers have been trained, but according to your comments and other comments I’ve seen elsewhere, there are still officers out there that haven’t recognized the NEXUS card. The reason I gave for this earlier is that some of our officers don’t see them regularly and that may be why some don’t recognize them. As I did with the airports mentioned earlier, I’ll reach out to the airports you mentioned and let them know you’ve had trouble.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

October 19, 2011 3:32 PM

...................................

Do TSA employees receive continous refresher training throughout the year?

Would ID indentification be part of that training if there is continous training?

If there is continous training then in what manner is the accomplishment tracked and what testing to determine training goals have been met are utilized?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Based on this article in the Washington Times, a refresher on photography is also needed

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/19/senators-tsa-screeners-s...

Mr. Leahy said that when he gets patted down, other passengers on occasion have taken out their cellphone cameras to photograph the spectacle of a senator being frisked, and TSA employees will tell them photos are against the law.

Submitted by Susan on

This is going to make traveling so much easier for me! Since I fly so often. I understand it will only help a small percentage of flyers but since they are offering it, I'm going to have to take them up on it. I also don't care if they have to 'pre-screen' me but will definitely beat the lines

Submitted by LonelySoul on

Nicely Written.
Like to Read , about this.

Technology News

Submitted by Weaklyflyer on

Bob, I see we have you replying to comments in this thread so is there any chance of getting an answer to my question regarding eligibility for green card holders?

I've followed all the rules to get to the country legally and I fly virtually every week. It seems to me like I am getting pushed aside for following the rules here...

Submitted by C K Haun on

What about CLEAR participants? I've been a member of the CLEAR program since it's inception, since I fly weekly, and CLEAR appears (to me) to meet the same criteria as NEXUS et. al.
Are CLEAR members going to be enrolled?

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Kelly L. - I accidentally hit the delete button for your comment. Please resubmit it and I'll publish it.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Mike Toreno on

Bob, when is the TSA going to start firing screeners for not knowing things they're supposed to know? They got trained on the Nexus cards. What excuse is there for not knowing what one is? It's not difficult. If somebody doesn't know something elementary like that, why don't they get fired for not having paid attention during training? Or why don't you start hiring people who can pay attention and remember? Why are you constantly wasting money training screening clerks about things they're supposed to know? Why not just get rid of them and hire people who can remember something from one day to the next?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Did you know that foreigners arriving in US airports from abroad do so without removing shoes, liquids, belts of jackets?

And those planes are just fine.

You should use this "expedited screening" for everyone.

Submitted by TrackerNeil on

Bob, I am a bit dismayed that you have not answered my question about the disposition of data if the program is cancelled, but I'll leave that for the nonce. I am, however, concerned about this statement you made:

"TSA will read the barcode at the checkpoint and the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening, which **could** include no longer removing the following items:"

That "could" is awfully flexible. It tells me that even after submitted personal information, the "trusted traveler" might still be subjected to all of the same restrictions and scrutiny as "non-trusted" travelers. That's not very much of a deal, is it? Can you address this?

Submitted by Kimm on

So, you volunteer all this info to TSA, and you STILL can get pulled out, mistreated, humiliated...etc. Because of my leg brace (which I cannot hide ANYTHING in due to the construction), I'll still get pulled, even though you have no reason to do so now anyway.

Right! Yep, I'm going to run right out and participate in this bogus program.

And btw, just because someone is a "trusted traveler", what makes you believe this person will remain so and they can be trusted to keep their shoes and coats on? You don't trust me simply because I wear a brace, but you will continue to trust someone who you have done one background check on and assigned one of your little cards to? How many criminals have passed background checks for anything? Probably more than we care to know about. How many people have TSA or the US government has been warned about, and were allowed on a flight anyway? How about the underware bomber? He was turned in by his own father, and no one, even the US gov't listened.

I'm SICK of this and the treatment I (and others) get at airports in the name of "security". I would love not to fly and avoid TSA all together, but it is not possible.

No wonder travel to the USA is down.......

Submitted by Mike Toreno on

Trusted Traveler programs are not administered by the TSA, and for that reason you can expect them to be well designed and achieve the purpose they are meant to achieve. They're not for getting through the TSA lines faster; TSA is just piggybacking on to them. Nexus, for example, is mostly for using a special auto lane to cross the US-Canada border. If you don't need the Trusted Traveler ID for its intended purpose, I'd say there's no reason to get it just for TSA - like people pointed out, the TSA can change their use of it at any time.

I would like to know the answer to my previous question. When is the TSA going to start firing people for not knowing what Nexus cards are, or for not knowing other things they have been trained on and are supposed to know?

Submitted by Ted Kennedy on

I wonder how this works if you are on the no fly list or have an expired Saudi Arabian passport?

Submitted by Anonymous on

kimm said...
"You don't trust me simply because I wear a brace, but you will continue to trust someone who you have done one background check on and assigned one of your little cards to?"

Given the number of TSA employees that have been been arrested, I think it's pretty obvious that they can't screen out criminals.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So even though I hold a federal clearance and my federal credentials can get me into the white house, I have to get "virtually" strip searched by you guys.

Way to take advantage of the federal expenditures utilized to investigate my background along with everyone else who has a HSPD-12 PIV.

Submitted by Mike Toreno on

Bob, can you let us know when the TSA going to start firing people for not knowing what Nexus cards are, or for not knowing other things they have been trained on and are supposed to know?

Submitted by Ysitincoach on

Hi Bob, I found that ATL TDC's had issue with the NEXUS cards--they were unaware or had never seen them. A big disappointment since this is a big TSA Pre check test city. The ATL TDC's supervisors were aware of NEXUS, but the actual line TDC's would grab the card, flip it over, look at it in wonderment then ask if I had a driver's license.

I was saddened to see that this program was tied directly to the airline, and not all CBP trusted travelers. I find it sad that we can use NEXUS/Global Entry to enter our border crossings, but not our domestic airports as trusted travelers. There's little sense that I'd be "trusted" flying Delta, but not AirTran or United out of the same airport and the same checkpoint if I already have CBP trusted credentials.

If we're already on file with DHS and CBP, why are we dependent on the airline to successfully transmit Known Traveler numbers to TSA...this should be a non-issue. All CBP card carrying members should have access to this product offering regardless of the airline they're flying.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If the TSA checks make people safe and the TSA does PreCheck, how does that work? Either people aren't safe or the entire assumption we need the TSA is a fallacy.

I don't see TSOs going to people's house to grope them and issue a PreCheck certificate.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I see a lot of comments about "what is the taxpayer cost". Well, if you think about it, this should actually reduce the costs at the checkpoints. Why? I present at the checkpoint as a pre-screened individual who has gone through extensive background checks, and that knowledge lets TSA spend significantly less time and resources on me. If a reasonable percentage of frequent fliers enrolled in the program, the costs of TSA inspection would shrink by whatever percentage of time is saved. I know that for me, at the US-Canada border, with a NEXUS Card, the CBP screening time has dropped from a couple minutes to usually less than 30 seconds. Even if it only cuts the screening time in half, that's twice as many passengers that they can get through the checkpoint with the same number of employees.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I get it free I you get an invite from a member airline frequent flier program. Alaska Air was announced a member but you only get a invite if you're MVP GOLD status. I've been flying AK Air over 22 years & at time over 100K miles/yr. I qualify as a known traveler right?. NOPE, without the MVP rating I got to go to CBA and join Nexus or Sentri for $100 ripoff

Submitted by KT on

Why isn't there a provision for military? We have many background checks and are often to and from military duty or deployments.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob - Looking for Advice.

I fly weekly. As a retired LEO, I fully appreciate the challenges you face.

I travel with three padlocked Pelican cases. The electronic equiment is delicate and has been stolen and damaged by improper repacking by TSA inspectors in the past.

I would like to be present during inspection, but most x-rays are now in the sterile area. I am not looking for an exception but an "accomidation".

Large agencies are not known for their ability to deal with a round hole and a square peg. I wrote a letter to John Pistole, but never received a response. ?????????????

A friend suggested carrying my off duty weapon, broken down into three pieces, one per case. My luck, the handgun would be stolen.

Submitted by Blogger Bob on

Anonymous retired LEO: Sorry for the problems you've had. I would suggest you contact the TSA Customer Support Manager at the airport you're going to be traveling through the next time and explain the issues you've had. They may be able to work something out with you the next time you travel. You can contact them directly through:

https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/

Thanks,

Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

What if I am a member of Global entry but have not been invited by an airline? Can I qualify for the Precheck program? Even if I am not a frequent flyer or an elite member?

Also, what benefit is it to join the Precheck program if I have no guarantee of avoiding the security hassles such as shore removal, a choice between being irradiated or groped, and other such nonsense?

Submitted by Anonymous on

This seems like a terrible program.

NOt only is it anti-democratic, but it is almost designed to fail. People can become trusted travelers and then can take advantage of the system to smuggle stuff onto planes.

How about getting an extra screener for busy times at airports and helping us all?

Submitted by Matt on

Hi Blogger Bob,

I think this is a great program! I was wondering if Nexus-card holders who are Canadian citizens qualify? If not, is this planned for the future?

We are already allowed to use Global Entry, so I'm hoping we can use Precheck too.

Thanks!

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