Are TSA Precheck Lines Getting Shorter?

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What once used to pack with lines of people was nearly dead on a recent mid-week trip out of New York’s John F. Kennedy Terminal 4 thanks to no one in the dedicated TSA Precheck line. When TSA Precheck first launched, passengers could opt-in through their airline to receive the service meaning lines would sometimes be longer than regular security.

However since February 1, 2017, only those who have a known traveler number such as those who have Global Entry or pay for Precheck will now receive the benefit.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 7.24.15 PM


Your days of unexpectedly finding a “TSA PreCheck” mark on your boarding pass — without actually being a paid member of the program — are numbered. 

“Starting early February 2017, TSA will significantly reduce access to [TSA PreCheck] expedited screening for non-enrolled travelers.

Since the program’s launch in late 2011, the TSA has granted some nonmember travelers access to PreCheck lines on a flight-by-flight basis, England said. 

Bottom Line

With the freebies now gone, you must have a known traveler number such as through Global Entry, to by paying for Precheck. There are several credit cards that will reimburse this fee including the The Platinum Card® from American Express or  The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

Another option to speed through security is CLEAR. You can enroll for CLEAR then just stop by an airport kiosk the next time you are at a CLEAR airport location.

Have you noticed TSA Precheck lines shorter? Feel free to share which airports you’ve experienced shorter lines at!

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  1. I flew out of DCA on Wednesday afternoon, regular security line was maybe 40 people long. There was no one in the pre-check line, I was through security in under 2 minutes.

  2. I flew out of LAX this morning, and the Precheck line was three times longer than normal. I’ll beloeve it when I see it.

  3. Really happy about this for the most part. Loved my senior citizen parents getting access, but it was really annoying overall having paid for GE and then having the pre-check line being yards longer than the regular.

  4. On Monday, Feb 6th, the pre-check line at BOI had around 50 travelers and zero in regular. The 4-5 people in front of me had no idea what to do. Obvious it is still happening.

  5. PHX Terminal 3 on Tuesday, IND on Wednesday: the TSA-Pre lines had nobody in them while the regular lines had about 50 people in PHX and 25 people in IND. Sweet!

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