At more than 100 airports across the country, you get a chance to go through a special screening line without having to remove your shoes, belt or coat, and you can keep your computer in its carry-on bag.
But being selected to use the Transportation Security Administration’s so called PreCheck lines is never guaranteed, even if you meet all of TSA’s conditions. That is because the TSA randomly removes a number of qualified passengers to prevent terrorists from gaming the system.
How can you improve your chances of being picked to use the PreCheck lines?
The TSA’s blog last week said travelers could be excluded from PreCheck if they enter the wrong information when booking a flight. Even a wrong date of birth or middle initial could exclude you from PreCheck.
TSA officials also confirmed that your chances of being selected for the PreCheck lines are higher if you apply through one of three of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s trusted traveler programs (Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI).
But the TSA randomly excludes fewer travelers who enroll through the border protection programs because the programs require fliers to submit more background information, such as fingerprints, compared to travelers who enroll through loyalty reward programs, according to TSA officials.
A third way to sign up for the program is scheduled to launch soon as the TSA plans to open up to 100 enrollment offices across the country by the end of the year.