Trick to Using Faster TSA PreCheck Lane on Budget Airlines

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Update:   The Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard no longer offers a statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.

TSA PreCheck makes getting through airport security easier.  But some budget airlines don’t participate.

Trick To Using Faster TSA PreCheck Lane On Budget Airlines

I’ll Explain How You Can Get Into the TSA PreCheck Lane, Even If You’re Flying on Budget Airlines That Don’t Participate in the Program

What’s TSA PreCheck?

Link:   How to Get Through Security Faster With TSA PreCheck

With TSA PreCheck you can go through a separate security lane.  This lane is faster because folks don’t have to remove items like belts, laptops, and shoes.

Check out this post for details on how you can get TSA PreCheck.

Participating airlines include:

Air CanadaAlaska AirlinesAllegiantAmerican AirlinesDelta
Hawaiian AirlinesJetBlueOneJetSouthwestSun Country Airlines
United AirlinesVirgin AmericaWestJet

So airlines such as Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, as well as international flights on budget airlines such as WOW do NOT qualify.

Trick To Using Faster TSA PreCheck Lane On Budget Airlines

You Won’t Have TSA PreCheck Printed on Your Boarding Pass When You Fly Frontier Airlines and Other Budget Airlines

And you won’t have access to the faster TSA PreCheck lane.  But there may be a way around this!

How to Get TSA PreCheck If Your Flight Doesn’t Qualify

You may be able to show your Global Entry ID card at security to get into the fast lane.

Trick To Using Faster TSA PreCheck Lane On Budget Airlines

Flashing Your Global Entry Card May Get You TSA PreCheck Even When You’re Flying an Airline That Doesn’t Participate

One Mile at a Time reports this trick worked on his way to a WOW Air flight to Iceland.

There are NO guarantees this will work.  But it’s worth a try, especially if you’re in a hurry to catch your flight!

Don’t Have Global Entry?

You can apply for free (via a $100 statement credit) with cards like:

Bottom Line

With TSA PreCheck you can speed past the long security lines at the airport.

But only some airlines participate.  So if you’re flying budget airlines like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines, TSA PreCheck will NOT be printed on your boarding pass.

However, you may still be able to get into the TSA Precheck lane by showing your Global Entry ID card.

If you decide to give this a try, let us know your experience!

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42 responses to “Trick to Using Faster TSA PreCheck Lane on Budget Airlines

  1. i tried this the other day when I booked a ticket with United and my flight was actually with silver airways. I went to the desk first and they said they do not participate in the program. At TSA i tried to show my global entry card and was denied. Had to take off shoes and all… Ahh! I wish the card allowed you to go through regardless of the airline! But anyother time.. I LOVE IT!

  2. I’ve gained entry to the TSAPRE line at JFK in the early morning, however once I got to ID check I was directed to the front of the regular security line. So in the end I just saved a bunch of time but still had to remove my shoes, belt, etc.

  3. I tried showing my card at security and was denied. TSA agent stated that the ticket must have TSA Pre check printed on it. No exceptions.

  4. My husband and I applied for the TSA recheck out 10 days ago. We have no international plans right now and we could still get it free with another credit card that we have if we see our travel plans moving in that direction. My husband got his KTN last week. When I check my status online, it says that they are having trouble checking applicants fingerprints which may delay approval. There is no chance that my fingerprints are coming up in their database as a criminal so I wonder what is taking so long. The only thing that I can think is I didn’t press hard enough on the panel when the interviewer took our fingerprints. The machine beeped and accepted them though. This status has remained the same since 5/22. Should I call? Has anyone else had this experience? Thanks!

  5. Did not work for me at MCO for LH flight.

  6. I tried showing the card at ORD on air choice one and Air France (booked through delta) last month and it worked for neither. I was hoping that the delta booking would allow precheck, but nothing listed and after showing global entry card at the desk and security lines, there was no budging there either.
    In fact, I showed it for air choice one at my local airport and the TSA worker questioned me as to if it was a valid proof of identification. He pulled out a loop to look at it closely and then someone else came up and said sorry, that won’t work here, you must be disappointed. Then there was a big discussion as the first guy was not familiar with the program and had to be filled in by the other. I guess I am doing my teaching part now.

  7. Won’t work at DEN either. This “trick” might work once out of a hundred. If your boarding pass doesn’t scan precheck you’ll get sent to regular security.

  8. How do you get the word precheck on your boarding pass? Does this card only work when traveling internationally? I have this card for over a year and still not clear how it all works. Please kindly assist. Thanks.

  9. My wife and I signed up for Global Entry for free with our American Express platinum cards and get TSA PreCheck all the time when we travel. We have the Southwest Companion Pass and we’ve traveled quite a bit domestically, but a few weeks ago we flew Southwest to Punta Cana. We did not get TSA PreCheck on our tickets and when we inquired about it, they said that people traveling on international flights are never eligible for TSA PreCheck.

  10. Tried to show Global Entry card on several International flight from DFW airport, for Emirates, Eithad and Luftansa TSA personal denied because of no TSA precheck on Boarding pass.

  11. You will be denied pre if it’s not printed on the boarding pass – even having Global Entry or TSA-Pre is no guarantee for getting expedited security. It is still a somewhat random check, and there is always a possibility that the airline will send you to the regular line. This is made clear on the application and during the global entry interview, and should not be a surprise!

  12. On very rare occasions, TSA agents will let someone through with their Global Entry card. The problem is generally that you can’t even get up to the PreCheck agent because there is some airport person checking boarding passes where the lines divide and if your boarding pass doesn’t say PreCheck on it, they won’t let you down the lane.

  13. Gave it a try for a spirit flight today in DTW, no love from the agent, sent to the back of the line

  14. We simply bring along our original letter from TSA indicating that we are qualified for TSA Pre-Check, for every flight, regardless of what airline we fly. that way, if there’s any problem, we show them our TSA letters for each of us. It’s always been successful for us.

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  16. Flying Frontier. Tried at MCO on 9/01/15. Did not work. Was directed to a regular TSA line w/ no perks

  17. I tried it with my Nexus card in New Orleans, & it didn’t work.

  18. TSA Pre ONLY works if it’s on the boarding pass, and that means you need to fly with an airline that participates, NOT Frontier, NOT Spirit, NOT Allegiant (and possibly others). From official source: “Your trusted traveler card will not grant you access to TSA Pre✓®; TSA Pre✓® must be printed on your boarding pass in order to receive expedited screening benefits.”
    So, again, it goes with the airline – no matter how you got into the program (paid $85 for TSA Pre or $100 for Global Entry, or a freebie via credit card, whatever) – if the airline isn’t in it, you’re not in it.

  19. Tried this trick at LAX and DEN, I was turned away both times with my Global Entry card.

  20. Global entry allows you to avoid the line at customs when reentering the US. Works great, and saves at least an hour standing in line each time I use it. Now, I have had domestic TSA wave my entire family thorugh when I was the only one with TSA Pre on my ticket. I tried this at LAX with customs, that is “can my family go through the fast line on my Global entry, and boy did I get a lecture from the agent…. but he did let us all through on my global card. Told me not to do it again, as he had put notes in my record saying I had done it before. Gezz, they are worse than parents, keeping up with my activities. Welcome to the global village, where there is no privacy.

  21. Reading through the comments, sounds like this article could use an update: “Yeah, it’s a cool idea, but apparently it never works.”

  22. From the TSA Website:

    If I present my CBP trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI), will TSA allow me to utilize the TSA Pre✓® lane?

    No. This card is used by CBP at land border crossings and is not accepted by TSA for expedited screening access. The CBP PASSID is a nine-digit number that usually begins with 98 and serves as your known traveler number. Your individual reservation — passenger name record — must include your KTN. Travelers can check with the airlines to verify their KTN is listed in the passenger name record. Travelers who have been cleared for TSA Pre✓® will have information embedded in the barcode of their boarding pass and will have an indicator printed directly on the boarding pass.

    Never hurts to check the source…

  23. I tried to use my Global Entry card in Cincinnati but was denied. I was told Allegiant Airlines does not participate in the program. What this really means, is that TSA only cares if they get money. It is NOT about safety. To get my Global Entry card, I had to give fingerprints and a one on one interview to be approved. It is stronger than Known Traveler Number. If TSA is about safety, then why are they connected to the airlines? Because the counter agent presses the wrong button, and gives someone Pre-Check clearance by accident, this is good enough for TSA? I really ticks me off when safety is used as a guise for revenue collection. Don’t we all feel safer now that TSA is here!

  24. So, is there any scenario where showing the global entry card is useful. Apparently once you have the number loaded into an airline website to be applied to your ticket for travel it has no more use. Looking for comments from frequent travelers. !!!

  25. Denied at DIA. Agent said global entry has nothing to do with pre-check, although once I received global entry, I qualified for pre-check. Seems redundant to need it printed on my pass. I dread flying frontier for a list of reasons.

  26. For the Global Entry folks, you CAN use TBA Precheck. It’s included in the benefits. However, you can’t use the Global Entry card for Precheck, you use the 9 digit KTM number they give you at the time you were cleared for Global Entry. The agent was very clear that while you gain access to both programs with Global Entry, you only use your KTN number for Precheck and it must be on your ticket.

  27. Have tried the this a number of times at DEN with no success. It actually put more time into my trip as I had to go to the back of the line for general security

  28. Just checking Allegiant website for TSA Pre Check info. Started with Help button on upper right of home page, takes you to Travel Info, click on FAQs, scroll down to Reservations adn Ticketing, click on “Does Allegiant participate in TSA Pre Check Program?”, the current answer is Yes, you must enter your KTN on the traveler info page of the booking path when making a new reservtion. At last !! Hopefully Frontier and Spirit will get with it and start participating!

  29. In line at MCO right now for a Spirit flight and TSA denies my global entry card. I agree with other commenters that if this works 1 out of 100 times then it’s not worth posting about and getting traveler’s hopes up.

  30. I’ve been able to get this to work maybe 10-20% of the time. The trick is talking the FIRST TSA screening person into letting you “try the TSA Pre line”, and that the passport is properly incoded and the next TSA agent will see that on their console.

    If you can get past the dimwits and get into the TSA Pre line then you are golden. Otherwise, you’ll usually get the same smarmy “It needs to be printed on the boarding pass”.

  31. Hasn’t worked for me when flying Spirit Airlines at Boston’s Logan Airport. In fact the TSA agent there claimed that Global Entry had nothing at all to do with Pre-Chek. After I tried to explain the relationship and the fact used it all the time on other airlines, he vehemently denied and had my belongings hand-inspected after the xray to make it sure it took even longer for me to get through security.

  32. I have tried this before and it has never worked 🙁

  33. I always flew Southwest from Akron-Canton to MCO since I am a snowbird. Now that Southwest has done away with their non-stop from and to MCO, I fly Frontier. Sure could use Pre-check on Frontier to and from Cleveland Hopkins. Maybe by this Fall.

  34. Tried using global entry at Cleveland Hopkins with spirit air boarding pass but was denied.

  35. Did not work for me at LGA.

  36. This trick worked for me in Vancouver and Toronto flying back to the U.S. It doesn’t work any other time.

  37. Global Entry with NO tsa precheck printed on my boarding pass worked for me recently in Las Vegas. (sw air)
    It did not work in Seattle, (frontier) however they did not make me go to the back of the regular line, they ushered me to the regular side of the xray process, so I did in reality save buttloads of time in security overall.
    In Denver I always walk across the skyway to the Terminal A security where the lines are significantly shorter, longest I’ve waited is about 15 mins (rare to wait that long!!)- they don’t do tsa Pre check at that location regardless, it still saves a lot of time, esp if you are flying out of terminal A. (frontier!)
    ~very frequent traveler

  38. Looks like Spirit and Frontier will be joining Tsa Precheck soon!

  39. Anyone ever try buying a refundable/no cancel fee ticket on a TSA PRE airline in the same terminal, and then cancelling once thru security? Thinking about using a JetBlue BlueFlex ticket in Tampa to avoid the line for Spirit.

  40. Was denied at LGA in a rude way.

  41. This doesn’t work at LGA for Spirit. They won’t honor it at all. LGA’s security has gone through the roof (Armed National Guard in terminal), so don’t expect this to work anytime soon.