As of 19 Dec, TSA Pre-Check is automatically available at all100+ Pre-Check locations for all military members with a CAC card. TSA’s web page here gives the details. This is a huge expansion from the previous 10 airports listed for military members. Note that you need to enter your DoD ID number (shown in the middle of the back of your card) as your Known Traveler Number on your reservation. The message also says “when traveling on nine major U.S. airlines”, so you must be one of the following: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. Sorry, no Spirit Airlines yet.
Since this is new, I suggest asking at the ticket counter if they can add that in if you had not done so during the reservation process. You can also try just showing your CAC card to the TSA agent and see if they would accept that. Please let us know your success in doing the latter.
Now for something that I can’t find any information on, but I trust the source. My daughter, Stephanie, came yesterday to our winter home for Christmas traveling DCA-PDX-ANC. Traveling Alaska FC (on my miles naturally) she couldn’t find a line for elite passengers and got in the normal one for Terminal 1. At the front of the lines stood a TSA Agent with an iPad and then pushed an iPad which directed the traveler left towards the regular screening or right towards the Pre-Check screening. She got lucky and went through Pre-Check without having to unload her laptop, take off her shoes, or any of the other usual procedures. She loved it and now wants to figure out how she can do that more often. John Pistole, the TSA Administrator, has remarked that they are greatly trying to expand the program. I guess this was a free sample to some of the public in order to encourage them to register for the program.
And that’s the other news about Pre-Check that you may not have heard about. Up until now it has only been available by invitation. Mostly given to Gold level and above frequent flyers, it is now available to anyone. TSA opened their first office for this in Indianapolis last week and soon will have other offices in major cities, such as D.C. For an $85 application fee you will get a five-year registration with Pre-Check. The visit will involve you filling out an application with some security questions, getting your fingerprints taken, and verifying your citizenship. Now why do you need this if you’re in the military and already enrolled? Why for your spouse of course! That way you can both go through Pre-Check together along with any children under 12. That is only a $17/ year cost and seems well worth it if you travel very much.