Tips for Traveling with TSA Pre-Check

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This blog post came from a “lesson learned the hard way” event that happened yesterday. Before traveling to L.A. I realized I had made some very rookie mistakes, so before any of you make them, I wanted to share some tips. If you are not already TSA Pre-Check certified I recommend checking it out. The $100 for five years is 100% worth it! Not only do you get to leave your shoes on and laptops in the bag during security, you are welcomed by shorter lines and an overall easier travel experience.

If you do have TSA Pre-Check here is some valuable information to remember:

  • First and foremost, make sure the same name on your airline ticket matches your “Known Traveler Name.”
    • Lesson: I didn’t put my middle name on my Virgin America account but it is on my Known Traveler account. Since the names did not match up 100% I did not get TSA Pre Check. The solution – to pay $150 to preform a “name change” on my ticket. Moral of the story – MAKE SURE YOUR NAME IS EXACTLY THE SAME
  • When you receive your “Known Traveler Number” insert that in every single airline website, every single time before you book your trip. If you do not put it in before booking you will not have pre-check listed on your ticket and you will need to call the airlines to get them to add it.
  • If you need the airline to add your KTN after you have already checked-in, ask them to check you out and then re-check in. Hopefully the system has updated and your pre-check will show up. If they tell you they can’t “un-check you” they are lying and ask for a manager!
  • If Pre-Check does not show up on your ticket and you booked through a third party, double check that the numbers are correct. Most of the time they miss one number which will prevent you from getting your pre-check status

Really, this post is to make you aware how important it is to get the numbers and name correct the first time. I had no idea you needed to add this before booking, or add it every time you book. My husband or a travel agent usually books my flight so I really had to learn the hard way. Yesterday, instead of breezing through the pre-check line (as I have done for three years), I was waiting in an hour long line trying to get through regular security! Seriously, do yourself a favor and PAY ATTENTION! I promise you, had I known this, it would have saved so many pre-trip stresses!!

 

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