Pre-Check Advice

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by webdes03, Jun 20, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    Back at the end of 2012 or very beginning of 2013 I got the email from United about pre-check. The email contained the link to the form on the UA website that you could fill out to apply for pre-check. I don't remember the exact date, but it was at least 5-6 months ago.

    At any rate, I completed the form, which clearly states that all UA does is send it to the TSA, and to not call UA to check the status of your application. Since applying, I've gotten pre-check zero times, out of 36 flights. Last week, after standing in the "premier/first class" line at ATL North for 30 minutes (which was filled with non-premier, coach passengers from Spirit thanks to the awesome airport staff directing people to the appropriate line), I gave up.

    I approached the TSA glass booth area after the checkpoint and asked about the status of my pre-check application. They asked if I'd "had my interview yet". Not knowing I needed one, the TSA supervisor told me to call my airline, and while I was still standing there, just turned around and went back to typing on her computer. So if all UA does is send the information to TSA, and TSA tells you to call your airline for status, what's my correct course of action? Should I just keep "signing up" once a week until it happens?
     
  2. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Not sure what form you are filling out. The process for signing up for TSA is to go into My Account, then Manage Profile, then on "TSA pre-screening program", and check the box. That's it.

    The TSA supervisor was probably confusing it with Global Entry, which does require an application and DHS interview.
     
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  3. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    That's the form I was referring to, and it's checked. It hasn't had any effect on my ability to use Pre-Check.

    I don't know what I have to do to make it work... you'd think that 36 flights in less than six months would count as "frequent" enough to qualify...
     
  4. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Try unchecking, saving, then rechecking. Also, if there is any discrepancy between your reservation name and your TSA/government ID name, there will be an issue. It might be a history thing too -- have you only recently started flying this much?
     
  5. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    I'll try unchecking and rechecking and see if that brings any joy. I did 46 segments in 2012, so comfortably in the silver PQS band, though with 36 YTD 2013, I'll easily exceed that before the end of Q3 this year.
     
  6. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    IT took about 5months for me to start getting precheck after I added my trusted traveler number, if you don't have that yet even, its possible they are even slower on submitting for it.
     
  7. TravelerRob
    Original Member

    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    This is completely wrong honestly.

    The government (and the airline for that matter) have *no* idea what ID you will be using when you go to the airport. Pre-check eligibility is determined long before you even get to the airport or when your BP is printed. All those mobile BP's "you" use? No one has checked your idea.

    For the record I used Pre-Check successfully, and without ever once not getting it, since inception until a few weeks ago. I never had my middle name in a reservation and it never caused me a problem. A few weeks ago (mid May) Pre Check suddenly stopped coming up for me and hasn't come back. I have added my middle name into United, I have unchecked and re-checked the profile setting for "I want to use Pre Check" and I still don't get it. But what ID you "will" be using at the airport has zero bearing on whether you are Pre Check eligible on any given itinerary.

    -Rob
     
  8. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Don't know what to tell you, but I have a number of reservations in the system, some with my name before United made me change it, and some with my name after the switch (ostensibly to match TSA records). On reservations with my name before the change, no Pre-Check. On reservations with my name after the change, Pre-Check all the time. I guess the best we can say is that we don't know why Pre-Check may start and stop, but surely it doesn't hurt to have your MP Profile information match the Government ID that you use regularly?
     
  9. TravelerRob
    Original Member

    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Can't hurt but it has nothing to do with it. TSA tells United to give you Pre Check or not. Most likely because United sends "DOE/JOHN DOB 01-01-1980" to the TSA they deny Pre Check because the name or DOB or something else doesn't explicitly clear you from any of their lists. But if United sends "DOE/JOHN/ALBERT DOB 01-01-1980" to the TSA then they say OK to pre-check because they have verified you against every database known to name. (Joke on that last part - I don't know what they compare it to).

    But my point is that when you get to the airport your first and last name better match your ID or TSA denies you. They couldn't give a crap less about your middle name being in the reservation or on the ticket. And my point is that neither United or the TSA have any clue what ID you will bring to the airport to prove you are who you are. Some might not have your middle name while others will. As long as first and last match you're golden. Middle name/initial is just an added bonus for them; but that better match your ID, too, or you'll have issues.

    -Rob
     
  10. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Well, it could well be that they use DMV databases and passport/immigration databases to clear you, so if I were you, I'd make sure it matches your official government ID. Going through that process worked for me.
     
  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    This alone is the reason to go through the Global Entry application process. Pre-check with the airlines is airline dependent. Once you clear your Global Entry process (which DOES include an interview, airline-initiated PreCheck does not) you're assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN) which you can add into your frequent flyer profile on ANY airline that supports it.

    I've cleared Precheck on AA, DL, and UA so far. All using my GE KTN, which is in my profile on each airline.

    Once you're in Global Entry, the names absolutely MUST match between airline and GE account.
     
  12. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Can't echo this sentiment enough. Global Entry is such an easy process and affordable at $100 for 5 years. It gets you TSA Pre-Check access and will save you a ton of time if you do need to clear customs coming back into the US.
     
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  13. TravelerRob
    Original Member

    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Exactly. GE or NEXUS or SENTRI is the way to go.

    FYI - your names *do not* have to exactly match. I had a KTN in my UA profile and when UA demanded we all add our Middle Names to our profile I did for a bit and then took it out just to see what would happen. My Pre-Check success remained at 100%. You can leave your middle name out and it works just the same, at least in my experience. Your first and last name have to match 100%, agree there.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Right. It can't be Mike in one and Michael in the other.
     
  15. MSY-MSP
    Original Member

    MSY-MSP Silver Member

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    From what I understand talking with the TSA folks is that if you have Nexus, Sentri, Global Entry and you use that to qualify for pre-check then you have about a 99% chance of success when going through pre-check. They indicated that soon it will be 100% approval prior to getting to the TSA folks. Apparently the new scanners that they are using will do the random element there (something with a moving daily 2 digit check digit system that would cause ~1% to get regular security). The idea being to defeat the BP scanning system that even TSA admits tacitly is a hole since we all know how to read the BP's, which is also why the precheck logo is appearing on the BP's now.

    The airline elect in for non KT's is around 25-30% success rate from what I have been able to determine. The airline passes data to TSA regarding your travel history with them, your name and DOB. Some magic happens on the back end and you may or may not get past the system for pre-check. I know that the three reservations I had that were made by a travel agent where I couldn't add my KT# to the reservation I batted 0% for precheck vs 100% with it in. This is as a 1K with 75 segments on UA last year and been a 1K for 10+years.
     
  16. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    You don't add your KTN to the reservation, you add it to your ff profile with the airline. When booked and your ff number is used, it knows you're in a TT program and auto-submits.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  17. MSY-MSP
    Original Member

    MSY-MSP Silver Member

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    Right. But there was a period of time where the information wasn't associating with the ff number. It was only making it into the system if you booked through ua only. Amex travel reservations had your ff number but not the known traveler number. You had to manually add it in. When they made the switch to fmn they took away the option to manually add it in on a reservation. You could add to profile but it wouldn't add to reservations that made it to the system without it. Though now it looks like you can add it in now manually again.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Hate to tell you this, but I never signed up for pre-check with UA and I get it pretty consistently in recent weeks.
     
  19. MSY-MSP
    Original Member

    MSY-MSP Silver Member

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    Wow. That is interesting to say the least. Do you have ge? If so is that in your profile. If not this could be a serious privacy issue in that ua is sharing info with tsa that they shouldn't or tsa is reaching in where it shouldn't.
     
  20. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    LOL... Not much surprises me anymore...
     
  21. dc8fan

    dc8fan Silver Member

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    +1 So worth the $100. Biggest problem was scheduling the in-person, due to my crazy schedule. But it's all worth it the first time you get the 3 beeps and go through that special line :)
     
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  22. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    GE was worth it to me stand-alone, but then UA reimbursed me. The Pre-Check that followed is fantastic. I think they are easily worth $100 each, so I would probably apply for GE if I never traveled internationally just to improve my chances at pre-check.

    I've heard that Pre-Check is going to be expanded to outbound international flights, along with connections once we are cleared after intl arrival to go through security again. Can't find any specific info on this online, but I know I heard it somewhere or read it here. That makes total sense to me. If I am safe to fly within the USA, then I'm safe to fly within the USA after landing from Costa Rica and clearing Border Patrol and Customs. Same scenario if I'm flying to Costa Rica instead of Boston. I hope it comes soon.
     
  23. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    I can verify that Precheck works for outbound intl flights and domestic connections after inbound intl flights. I got both for a trip to Rome in May.
     
  24. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    Awesome to.hear...as someone that flies exclusively international and has GE, the lack.of precheck on the internal.legs has been frustrating
     
  25. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    And just to remind everyone - if you have AmEx platinum and charge the GE fee on that card they will credit you the amount so No Charge!
    And you can do the interview at any of many airports so could schedule during a layover somewhere.
     
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