USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Holiday Travel Reminders & How To Increase Your Chances on Being Selected for TSA Pre✓®

Archived Content

Please note that older content is archived for public record. This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.

If you have questions about policies or procedures, please contact the TSA Contact Center.

Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Holiday Travel Banner

With the busiest travel time of the year upon us, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a few reminders and tips for today’s post.

First off, if you haven’t already, plan ahead and read our Thanksgiving Travel Tips post. It’s chocked full o’ tips and useful information you might need before your trip.

Secondly, keep an eye on the weather. If you think there might be a delay or closure, you can check the My TSA app for airport statuses. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can check the statuses here. Remember, this is the busiest travel time of the year. While we plan ahead and fully staff our checkpoints, it’s always best to arrive early when you can.

TSA Precheck Logo

Lastly, for all of you using TSA Pre✓®, it’s very important you enter the correct info when booking your flight or you may not get selected for expedited screening.

While some eligible passengers are randomly excluded from expedited screening in TSA Pre✓® lanes, we were surprised to learn that some U.S. and Canadian citizens who are enrolled in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler program have been excluded because of errors made in entering information when they book their reservation. On a given day, some have missed out on expedited screening because of a few simple errors.

A few of the basic reasons are as follows:

  • Entered the incorrect Membership Number / PASSID (also known as your known traveler number or trusted traveler number), or entered it in the wrong field when making their airline reservation online.
  • Entered a date of birth (DOB) when making their reservation that did not match the DOB they provided to CBP for Global Entry or another CBP trusted traveler program.
  • Didn’t enter their full name: first, middle and last name. These should match:
    • TSA Pre✓® participants who qualify via their membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler program should enter their full name - first, middle and last - exactly as it appears on their Global Entry card or in their Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account, along with their date of birth, gender, and nine digit Membership Number / PASS ID when making a reservation for travel. A reservation made with a name that does not exactly match a passenger's Global Entry card or GOES account will result in the passenger not being considered for TSA Pre✓® expedited screening. If you click the “manage membership” button when logged into your GOES account, it will direct you to the page in the image below where you’ll be able to ensure your account info - under the personal information section - matches the information in your travel reservation and your frequent flyer program: first, middle and last name fields.
    • You should make sure your airline frequent flyer profile and any current and/or future reservations matches this information. You may have to reach out directly to your carrier to make sure this information is correct and consistent, especially your first, middle and last name. You should ask them to update your profile information and/or saved Secure Flight data.
Example of Goes Account Manager

Click to Enlarge Example of Goes Account Manager

A quick recap: Remember these important tips so that you will be included in TSA Pre✓®:

  • Make sure your booking agent/airline has your number and full name stored correctly. The name - first, middle and last - should match how you applied for a trusted traveler program, as listed above.
  • If you have Global Entry and want to qualify for TSA Pre✓®, enter your Membership Number / PASS ID - not the GOES ID - in the ‘Known Traveler/Trusted Traveler’ field when booking flight reservations - a nine digit.
    • Only enter your Membership Number / PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler/Trusted Traveler’ field to ensure TSA Pre✓® eligibility. Don’t type “Opt In” or “TSA Pre✓®” or any other text.
Example of Global Entry Card

Click to Enlarge Example of Global Entry Card

If you don’t know what your PASS ID is, you can find it on the back of your Global Entry card, or you can log in to your GOES account to get the ID number.

  • Open the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) web site
  • Provide your login information. Click on the Sign In button. Look for your Membership Number / PASS ID on the main screen.

You can also watch this helpful video.

Have a great holiday, and I'll be back next Tuesday with more travel tips.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.


Submitted by Anonymous on

As a million+ miler, I was finally approved for TSA✅ through my airline. It is the best improvement to my business travel in ten years. However, after flying 5 round trips as TSA✅, my next flight was not. Then I was pre-cleared on the next flight, but not on the return. Lately, I have been pre-cleared only about 50% of my flights. My husband, who travels as much as I do, does not experience this randomness. I understand why the element of random surprise might be necessary, but it does effect how I pack and what I wear to travel in.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, I have a hyphenated last name. Some airline computer systems will not permit the hyphen, and instead require a space between my first and second last names. Is there any way for me to participate in Pre-Check?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Participation in a government-backed extortion program sure has a lot of rules.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why is this not the default level of screening for all passengers instead of a perk for the wealthy and the lucky?

Submitted by James Elsea on

Just do what my wife and I have done, stop all air travel. We no longer go on any vacations which require air travel and I work hard to set up alterative ways at work to eliminate travel to vendors.

Submitted by Bubba on

Everyone should be screened with metal detectors and their shoes on, not just those who happen to perfectly match their name on the ticket to whatever database you are now comparing it to.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have two middle names. I notice that your article mentions "first, middle, and last name" (singular) many times. How do you handle multiple middle names?


Submitted by Anonymous on

Trying to sell back our rights as a privilege you can choose to grant or deny?

Big scam, Bob.

Submitted by Curt Applegate on

TSA found a 100 tireirons in the parking lot!
At one time I flew everywhere but the security process has slowed down air travel so much I'd rather drive, get there in almost the same time and avoid the aggravation of ridiculous requirements.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What is your policy on being asked to "say your name" at a checkpoint? If a traveler refuses to say his name, can the TSA prevent him from traveling?

Submitted by Tom on

I enjoy the benefits of Global Entry including TSA Precheck, having applied, paid, waited, been fingerprinted, been interviewed, and enrolled. What is not enjoyable is the increasing number of randomly selected passengers who slow down the security lines do to ignorance that results in questions, jackets and belts coming off, etc; not to mention the number of children and strollers going through the Precheck line.

Best way to increase your chances: pay and apply. To those still confused why the variety of selection is inconsistent, I suggest re-visiting their education on the definition of "random." To those who are avoiding air travel (but still are vigilant of air travel procedures), farewell and thanks for your absence.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are there any benefits to applying for the TSA Pre vs. applying for the Nexus? Thanks

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are there any benefits to the TSA Pre versus the Nexus? Thanks.

Submitted by Abbiesue Gregg on

I registered for TSA pre check a few years ago. I do not know the number associated with my TSA pre Check status although I usually get the TSA Precheck icon on my boarding pass with my main air carrier. How can I contact the TSA to find out my number?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I only fly once or twice a year, but was surprised to find my boarding pass had TSA Pre on my last flight, both directions. I wonder why?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's very frustrating to go through the whole application process, pay the required fee, obtain the PreCheck status and then get denied the PreCheck on a random basis, as often as every other flight. I hope they fix the program. Jury duty is an possible model, if you served recently, your name is passed over.

Submitted by Anonymous on

VERY frustrating to go through the process of travel time to a vetting center pay the cost of the background check, be fingerprinted and still denied pre cert 50% of the time. I always travel with my wife and at any given time either one of us has not been given pre cert status so,the gov has our money and we together are stuck back in the long lines and frustrated.

Submitted by Stormy Day on

Your boarding pass had a tsa precheck because your name matched someone else's. Great system, huh?

Submitted by Dan Moore on

I am on long-term work assignment in Denver, (3+ years now). I fly home to Dallas 1-2 times per month at my expense. I was considering paying the fee to apply for TSA Pre-check, but I fly almost 100% on Spirit Airlines, (because it costs around $125 R/T, vs $230-360 on the bigger airlines). And the program only works with those overpriced carriers. So I guess I am out of luck? Why do the airlines need to be involved, why can't all Pre-check members go to the TSA line, and if the TSA has randomly chosen you for full scrub, they could just send you to the long line. I guess I don't understand, even though I read everything I could find here...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does this mean that finally frequent fliers with very low risk who happen to have metal hip joints can travel without being harassed every single time they travel-it''s a nightmare! ( i.e. 60 yr old caucasian woman;citizen; no affiliation with militant groups;extremists/criminal record-etc etc!)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Most of the time, either my wife or I get TSA pre-check, while the other does not. (Only once did we both get it.) This does not make sense to me that only one of us gets TSA Precheck. Since one of us has to wait in the longer line, we both do, instead of the one using the TSA Precheck line.

If we were trying to get something past the checkpoint, and only one of us has TSA Pre-check, then whatever we would be trying to get past the checkpoint, we would just give it to the person with TSA Precheck.

The system is no more secure by allowing only one through TSA Precheck and not the other, versus allowing us both through.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Russ: I am a very educated person, yet cannot figure out the instructions or procedure to get TSA Pre. The offices are never open when I am traveling and going through the airports I use and the FAQ's don't explain anything I want to know.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Terrible! After years I finally TSE Pre! Bad News... My Boarding Pass almost never has it and only get cleared once in a while.. I expected after paying the fee and going through the program i would have TSE every time as I am a "trusted traveler" but I guess TSA Pre means trusted only on occasion...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Excellent're only hurting yourself, nobody else cares

Submitted by Linda Prellwitz on

What is the point of this program- if you have been pre-screened then why do you randomly NOT get chosen. It does not make sense. Either you have been determined a safe risk or not. If you are traveling and have to print boarding passes at airport then don't get TSA Pre and have to wait n the long line you always have to allow the extra time. As people have mentioned- we have been unable to use 3 of the last 4 times!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I recently completed my first trip with TSA Precheck. Worked great for me. However, after arriving I realized that my last name was spelled wrong on my ticket (and in my reservation). One letter was missing. My last name is fairly long (10 letters) and even I didn't notice it until the final flight. But I'm concerned about how this is possible? I had assumed a computer was cross-checking the names and trusted traveler numbers. But this certainly would have caught the mistake.