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TSA Precheck: Everything You Need to Know Before Business Travel

Janice Chaka

The TSA (Transport Security Admission), which was established by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, on November 19, 2001, is an expedited security screening program to help travelers departing from airports within the USA.

If you’re considered a low-risk flyer, you’ll be allowed to join the program, helping your journeys to be quicker, safer and much more effective.

Which, when you consider the fact that according to the United States Department of Transportation there are 88 million people traveling per year in the U.S., any way to get your journey done faster will help.

Related Article: What Is Bleisure: Dumb Word or Great Business Travel Approach?

This Is How the TSA Website Describes Their Vision

Mission: To protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

History: On the morning of September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The attacks resulted in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, designed to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Driven by a desire to help our nation, tens of thousands of people joined TSA and committed themselves to strengthening our transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.

Frequently Asked Questions to Help You Understand the TSA System 

1. Where is it available?

More than 150 airports and 13 airlines (shown below) offer the TSA experience. For the full list, check out the TSA website.

  1. Air Canada
  2. Hawaiian Airlines
  3. United Airlines
  4. Alaska Airlines
  5. JetBlue Airways
  6. Virgin America
  7. Allegiant Airlines
  8. OneJet
  9. WestJet
  10. American Airlines
  11. Southwest Airlines
  12. Delta Air Lines
  13. Sun Country

2. What benefits does it offer?

Travelers who choose to use this system will get through airport security much quicker, and will not be asked to remove the following items: shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts and light jackets, making your journey run much smoother.

This is perfect if you and your employees need to make a lot of business trips.

3. Who is eligible?

This system is currently only available to U.S. citizens, who will be put through the following screening process to determine their eligibility:

“If you haven't already, submit an application through the TSA Pre-application program or another DHS Trusted Traveler program.

Make sure that your name, date of birth and gender exactly match the government-issued photo ID that you use when traveling.

If your application is approved by DHS, you will receive a KTN/PASS ID/DoD ID number. Be sure to include that number in your MileagePlus profile or add it to your reservation each time you book travel.

You can update existing United reservations through the "Edit traveler information" option in Manage Reservations.

In order to receive expedited screening benefits, your KTN/PASS ID/DoD ID number must be included in your reservation, and you must have the TSA Pre logo or "TSE PRE" displayed on your boarding pass.

A Trusted Traveler program card alone will not grant TSA Pre access.

If you have a flight departing within 72 hours after adding your KTN/PASS ID/DoD ID number to your MileagePlus profile, you will also need to add the number directly to your reservation.

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If you add your number after checking in, please reprint your boarding pass.

Be sure to enter your name, date of birth and gender into the traveler information section of your flight reservations exactly as noted when you applied to the DHS Trusted Traveler program.

The TSA will use this information to confirm your eligibility for TSA Pre benefits for each flight.”

For more details on how to apply, check out the TSA website. It’s important to note that members of the armed forces are automatically eligible for an application.

4. How much does it cost?

The TSA system is currently $85 for five years. However, there are ways that you can get this fee paid for you, the most common way to do this is through your credit card.

Below Is the List of Cards That Currently Reimburse Global Entry or TSA Precheck Fees as a Statement Credit

  • Barclay AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard (Global Entry only)
  • Citi Prestige Card
  • Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
  • Platinum Card from American Express
  • Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN
  • Centurion Card from American Express
  • American Express Corporate Gold Card
  • American Express Corporate Platinum Card

These Cards Reimburse TSA Precheck or Global Entry Fees as Part of Their Annual Travel Fee Credit Benefit

  • Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card (Global Entry only; must call to request the statement credit)

Additional Ways to Get Free Global Entry or TSA Precheck include:

  • Delta Airlines Platinum and Diamond Medallion members receive free Global Entry vouchers as part of Choice Benefits
  • Orbitz Rewards Platinum members receive free TSA Precheck (but not free Global Entry)

5. Can I fly abroad?

Yes, most participating airlines will allow you to use your TSA account when flying abroad, as long as you are leaving from one of the participating airports in the USA.

6. Are there any checks?

Sometimes you may be randomly selected to go through the check line, where you’ll be screened for explosives by dogs or with a hand swab. However, this is random and occasional, so you shouldn’t let it put you off from sending in your application.

So, if you and your business associates want to travel in style, using your own much quicker and more effective lanes, then considering a TSA account will help you to get there.

Even if you don’t travel often, you will find that you reap the benefits of this program, as it’s a low-cost, effective way to travel.

Plus, the more people that sign up for the program, the more it will grow offering you increasing benefits as time passes.

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A summary of the benefits to your business include:

  • Faster check-in, with your own personalized lanes, shrinking your waiting times.
  • You can keep tabs on your belongings, when you aren’t having to remove everything to get through security, it’s easier to keep hold of everything that belongs to you. This is particularly useful if you have a company laptop with sensitive information on it. That’s the sort of item you want to always know where it is
  • You can avoid the inconvenience of body scanners and pat-downs, yes you may need to occasionally be checked, but it won’t be every single time you fly. This means less stress and less time spent at check-in, and more time spent growing your business.
  • It’s a cost effective way to travel more effectively, and if you pick the right credit card you can get your membership for you and your employees for free.
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
Janice Chaka Member
Janice Chaka has over 10 years of international HR experience and is the founder of HR consulting company JC Global Services. As a part-time digital nomad, she is a great fan of promoting virtual working and paperless offices. Author of Events for Introverts: The how-to-guide to networking