I have blogged a couple of times on the TSA’s Pre-Check which is like a Pre-9/11 standard of going thorugh security for certain people.  I actually have four ways to qualify to go through the special TSA lane.

o  Global Entry Card, used for getting through Customs, but also good for TSA Pre-Check (This card is normally $100, but free for United 1K)

0 United 1K

0 Alaskan MVP Gold

0 DoD CAC Card (All DoD members were enrolled six months ago)

I recently found an important difference between these different methods.  Normally, you go to the Pre-Check lane and the TSA agent will swipe the boarding pass across the red laser and wait.  If the machine beeps three times, then you go through Pre-Check and keep you shoes and belt on, but if it only beeps once, you must go through the usual TSA line.  The machine will also display “LLL” if you are good to go and “CLR” if you fail and need to go through a regular check.  When I went through recently in HNL, I used my CAC Card and the agent received a double pass.  He remarked that this is the first time that he had seen that, but it resulted due to my using my CAC card at the reader, but the boarding pass had also been coded by United to pass me through.  The agent told me that it always better for me to use the CAC card, because the pass rate was 100% for CAC cards versus on 70% for any other method.  That’s right, all those elite frequent flyers have a 30% chance of being required to go through the regular check in order to “keep them honest”, but you military members hold a special position of trust (rightly so) and will always pass through.

Why is this important?  Often, the Pre-Check line is away from the regular TSA security lines and I have seen many posters on FT and Milepoint complain about shlepping all that way only to have to go through the regular line.  Now you know you can quickly move through security so show up at the airport closer to flight time.  Also, you can wear your stuff knowing that you will not have to take it off except you’ll still have to watch the metal content so leave your boots with shanks at home.

Going through the metal detector, I was surprised by a beep about a second after I had cleared the machine.  The agent told me that I had been selected for additional screening.  This was simply a wipe pad drawn across my hands which, of course, came back negative.  He told me that the machine was set to select between the xx and xx person who passed through the metal detector.  He told me the actual numbers, but I do not feel comfortable in disclosing them here.

Another thing that I have noted at every Pre-Check line is that they are usually empty except for me.  I discussed this with the agents and they said they are targeting the military to use it.  While you have to be an elite FF to be qualified for the majoity of the population, every serving Soldier, Sailor, Ariman, and Marine is enrolled and allowed to use it on every flight.  So get the word out to your brother and sisters in arms to got through security the easy way – TSA Pre-Check!


The information below was shamelessly stolen from the UA Forum, FriendlySkies’ Flyertalk post.

Airports with Pre-Check Lanes

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at Checkpoint D in the Main Terminal

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)

  • Pre-Check access is located in Terminal A (PMCO departures)
  • The Pre-Check & Elite Line share the same entrance, which means that if you aren’t an elite, you’ll have to inform the agent at the front of the line that you are a Global Entry, etc, member

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

  • Pre-Check access is located at the security checkpoint closest to the United ticket counters (Main Terminal, Checkpoint B)

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

  • The Pre-Check lane is on the far left wall of the Premier Access Checkpint in Terminal 1
  • An airport employee at the front of the lane will scan your boarding pass to detemine if you are eligible for Pre-Check access
  • Pre-Check closes at 6:00pm

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

  • Pre-Check is located at the Main Checkpoint in Terminal 3

Denver International Airport (DEN)

  • Open from 4:30am-8:00pm, daily
  • South Checkpoint ONLY, next to the CLEAR kiosks

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at the Premier Access South Checkpoint – Terminal C only

Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

  • Pre-Check lane is located at Checkpoint 3, adjacent to the US Airways lobby (a short walk from UA and Checkpoint 5; the UA gates can be reached if you clear at Checkpoint 3)
  • Pre-Check is moving to Checkpoint 5 on February 14th

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

  • Was rumored to open in T7 at the end of 2012. So far, there has been no construction/addition of a Pre-Check lane.

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

  • Pre-Check is located in Terminal A

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located in Terminal 7
  • Enter from the Elite Check-In Lobby in Terminal 6, then walk to the checkpoint between Terminals 6 & 7.
  • Pre-Check lane is on the far right side

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located in the Main Terminal at Checkpoint 4

McCarran Las Vegas Airport (LAS)

  • Pre-Check access is located next to the Premier Access/First Class lane at Terminal 1
  • Airport employee at the entrance will scan your boarding pass to determine if you are eligible for access

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at Checkpoint 4, near Door 3
  • If you’re facing the UA ticket counter, it’s the first checkpoint to the left

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

  • Will be located at the C3 checkpoint
  • Lanes from left to right are: Pre-Check, GS, 1K/F/C, everybody else
  • Nude-O-Scopes have been removed
  • Pre-Check closes at 7pm

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

  • Pre-Check is now live for AA/UA/US passengers at the Gates 1-59 checkpoint
  • The lane opens daily at 4:30am, and is located on the left side of the checkpoint, next to the CLEAR kiosks.

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at the main checkpoint

Portland International Airport (PDX)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located on the far left of the ABC Checkpoint
  • Lane shared with the First Class/Premier line
  • After clearing security head to right towards C terminal. The concourse connector is before gate C2 on the right. It will bring you to the D/E side where UA is.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

  • United travelers can access the Pre-Check lane in Terminal C (South Pier). The entrance is located on the far right of the checkpoint.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

  • The Pre-Check lane for UA is located at the elite checkpoint in T3, along the far left wall of the checkpoint.
  • Pre-Check closes at 6pm, along with the rest of the elite checkpoint

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at Checkpoint 3 (Center)

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)

  • The Pre-Check lane is located at the South Checkpoint

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

  • Pre-Check is located in the center of the departures level in the main terminal (near Harry’s Tap Room)
  • If you do not get the three beeps for Pre-Check, you can still utilize the screening lanes adjacent to the Pre-Check lane. They are currently WTMD only.

Airports Scheduled to Come Online in 2013

Note: Some of these airlines are already online, though they are not setup at the checkpoints for UA gates.

  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Posted by glenn | 37 Comments

37 responses to “Update on TSA Pre-Check and DoD”

  1. Adam says:

    You missed Atlanta’s PreCheck, which is now on the south side of the main checkpoint.

  2. John says:

    FYI, MIA has TSA Pre at AA in the North Terminal.

  3. MAJ Mack says:

    Good info….

    Do you know if can we access with our dependants if they have DOD ID or is it only for CAC carrying DOD personnel?

    • glenn says:

      @MAJ Mack – Unfortuantely it is only for DoD personnel and not your family. However, the last flight I took out of HNL, the agent yelled over for my wife to come with me through the Pre-Check line. I thought they had changed the rule. However, the agent said that she couldn’t go through the Pre-Check line, but at least she could go from the Pre-Check station to the head of the regular line. It was nice in that at least she was synched up closer with me and I did not have to wait too long on the other side for her to get through the regular line. If she had started at the beginning of the regular line and waited her turn, I probably would have been waiting for her for half an hour!

  4. Brandon says:

    Please note that United pre-check works in SLC, but you have to go through the Delta terminal. It’s worth the extra walk!

    LAS pre-check (Terminal 1) is also not at the United Terminal (terminal 3), but if you don’t need to go to the counter, it all ends up at the same place (usually the D gates).

  5. Bill says:

    So an active military member on appellate review leave after a court-martial holds a position of trust (they’re still on active duty, after all), while my blue retired ID card ain’t nothin’ in TSA’s eyes. Nice!

  6. Erndog says:

    DFW & SFO have pre-check as well

  7. Andrew in A2 says:

    Any info on DTW Detroit Metro?

    • glenn says:

      DTW Should be at Terminal 2 at the ticketing level. It shows as valid for Delta flyers, but you can get through with a CAC card or Global Entry. I have posted the Pre-Check location table on the Limks page of this blog.

  8. So I have global entry. Even if my boarding pass isn’t marked for pre check are you saying I can go up and they can scan my global entry card?

  9. Steve says:

    @verygoodpoints. I missed out on maintaining status with UA last year (was gold, now nothing — out sick for 6 months). I’ll get gold back this year, meanwhile I’m using my Turkish status match gold to get the *G benefits.

    I qualified for pre-check several times last year, but not once this year. The GlobalEntry card info is a blessing. I’ll be swiping that from now on.

  10. Kim says:

    With respect to dependants, I was told at IAD that my spouse could accompany me through the pre-check line. However, I have not tested it yet because we were already at regular screening when I was told that info.

  11. Damon says:

    This should work for DoD civs as well correct?

    Also, if i understand it correctly; when I go thru pre-check I just swipe/show my CAC and “hope” that access will be granted because nothing will be coded into my boarding pass.

    Is there a way to input our DoD CAC number into our boarding profile on the airlines site; like a Global Entry number?

    • glenn says:

      @Damon – It all depends on what DoD loaded into the TSA database. Give it a try and see what happens and let everyone here know the results. For your last question – no, DoD just deals with TSA not with the airlines so the only way to check is at the Pre-Check screening point.

    • Charles says:

      According to the TSA website it only applies to active service members, and NOT to DoD civilians.

      • Charles says:

        Q. Are civilian Department of Defense employees who have CAC cards eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓™?
        A. At this time, only U.S. Armed Forces service members who possess a valid CAC card are eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓™.

        As found at http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-pre%E2%9C%93%E2%84%A2/active-duty-military

        • Antwan smith says:

          I’ve flown a few weeks ago and civilian DoD employees are included in the recheck not sure about the global entry program, that’s what I would like to know and does it works for vets or reservists???

          • glenn says:

            @ Antwan – Yes for Reservists (I am one), but no for vets. As long as you have a CAC ID, you can use the DOD ID number on it to get Pre-Check. Just enter that number in the Known Traveler field when making a reservation. You should see this field when it asks you for things like your sex and DOB. Save the number in your favorite airlines website so you don’t have to enter it every time.

  12. Damon says:

    I’ll be at IAD end of April for the FTU; I’ll try then.

  13. Delta Points says:

    Great post. I was so going to do this post but you did it better! 😉

  14. […] week I read a post by The Military Frequent Flyer and realized that I had missed one very important fact about Pre-Check. I learned that I could go […]

  15. […] week I read a post by The Military Frequent Flyer and realized that I had missed one very important fact about Pre-Check. I learned that I could go […]

  16. […] week I read a post by The Military Frequent Flyer and realized that I had missed one very important fact about Pre-Check. I learned that I could go […]

  17. B Dixon says:

    A piece of valuable information to add. If you are at an airport without Pre Check, you might want to consider printing a boarding pass. This morning I flew out of PNS, the e-boarding pass scan (on the readout) showed “approved” and then showed “LLL” and they said, “It is supposed to show ‘CLR” – you need to go back to the counter and get a paper boarding pass.” I explained (to the TSA person minding the checkpoint) that “LLL” came up for Pre checked, but they had no idea what I was talking about. So be advised – being on the “special” list can hurt you…

    And just an aside to the post above about the courtmartialed servicemember having “status” – since there is a list the names and information get added to, I am pretty sure names can be removed from that list as well – even if you have a CAC.

  18. Maj Mack says:

    I just flew through Miami and the TSA Pre-Check agent said military cannot go through Pre-Check line there. The TSA agent said, “I know, lots of airports allow it, but we don’t yet.” He said military are authorized to use the First Class passenger security line, instead. I was happy with my consolation prize, but a little disappointed that the Pre-Check process is not standardized.

    • glenn says:

      Strange. Anyone else have reports of military not being allowed through pre-check? I have had 100% success everywhere, but have not tried MIA yet.

  19. Damon says:

    Just tried CAC at LAX did not work today…works at HNL no issue

  20. Charles says:

    My sources say it only applies to military service members, not just anyone with a CAC, not even DoD civilians.

  21. Katrina says:

    Newark Airport Pre check is horrible. I’m PCSing with my daughter and was told by many TSA agents I could not go through Pre Check because I was not in uniform. I have my military ID and orders along with my daughters. After PCSing from the Asia. Spending 16 hours on one flight I needed to go to a hotel take a shower and relax with my daughter. Then having to go through this. Was not fun. I’m not saying the military should have special privileges, but if your going to add on the rule for being in uniform, it should state it

    • glenn says:

      @ Katrina – Yeah, that’s just plain wrong. I typically go through in civvies and show my DoD CAC and have never had a problem. The only requirement is the CAC card, nothing that I have ever seen requires a uniform. Maybe speak to a supervisor? You could print and show them the TSA’s Pre-Check military page. Let me know if you have any success.


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