Taking non-elite companions through the priority TSA checkpoint

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Scottrick, Aug 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    What exactly are the criteria for taking non-elite companions through the priority late at TSA checkpoints? I've taken plenty of with me when they were traveling on the same flight. This weekend my gf and I are heading from SEA to LAS with another couple. She and I have elite status with UA, but they do not and are traveling on a separate AS flight.

    AS and UA are right next to each other at SEA, so I figure I should at least try to give them some benefits of my status and get them through security faster. SEA is also has some of the nicer TSOs. Am I setting myself up for embarrassment as they turn my friends away, or will all of us be able to get in the line together? My feeling is that we're still traveling "together" even if we use different planes past security.
     
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  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    never had a problem at any airport. at point of entry i try to deflect the issue by saying that we're traveling together and hand the person both bp's. no one has thought twice about it.......so far. its usually not a tsa employee reviewing the bp at that point, just an airport staffer making sure you have a same day bp and are in the right terminal or concourse
     
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  3. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Why not 'suck it up', and put your elite status in your pocket, and go through the same procedure that the 'commoners' have to do all the time?
    That might show them what an elite status person can, and will do for friends.
    Just a thought.
     
  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'm not suggesting I can't tolerate the regular security line, but sometimes it's really long, especially in the morning (7:30 flight). If I can take them through the elite line, great. If I can't, I just want to know now so I can join them in the regular line. That's what we're here for, to answer questions, right? I also offerred to get them upgrades if they flew with us, but they had a companion ticket with AS, so I don't think I have an issue being friendly...
     
  5. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    We do that when we hand over that first class BP to our traveling companion and go sit in the back.
     
  6. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Well, it's just a line, you get to see how the other half lives er, has to fly, then you go to your flight, and they go to theirs, and take your elite place in line. The aircraft will load and leave at the same time, regardless.

    And to mattsteg - I did that once, to a US Navy sailor, who was in uniform, by himself, sitting in the back. I gave him my 1st seat, and I took his. From ORD / LAX. Made me feel really good. Him? No doubt. I was a sailor once too.
     
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  7. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    Not that in SEA it matters a lot, since the line is always a mile long
     
  8. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    I've bumped into a colleague who was relatively new to travel at the airport and taken him through elite security, although we were going to different cities. Line guardian didn't seem to mind as I stated while handing her my BP that he was with me. As always, YMMV, but worked for me once.
     
  9. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I tried that with my gf once and she was still PO'd that I wasn't sitting with her even after I gave her drink chits. I only got to use 1/4 UDUs I was offered on that trip. I agree with cvsara that sometimes you just have to suck it up and deny yourself the benefits of status.
     
  10. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    It wasn't so bad until they started letting all the Silvers and 2Ps in the line. But maybe I've been doing more travel at peak hours lately, too.
     
  11. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    Why not just be cool and answer this persons question politely?

    The answer is "YES" companions are usually permitted to enter the TSA elite line with an elite gentleman or elite lady!

    Acting like you are "sucking up", which was the (above) incorrect response, will get you sent to the 'commoners' line muy rapido!

    Thank you for asking a question that is proper and is a concern to others, as well! By the way, any benefit that you earned, usually the hard way, and as a result can assist a friend or any other passenger enjoy their sojourn more efficiently is not asking for something that you are not entitled to unless your are denied that request after a polite request or attempt.

    People that "suck it up" when a decision is to be made, usually go through life capitulating at every turn, and end up continually "sucking" hind tit!
     
  12. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    I've never had an issue being brought as the companion or bringing another as the elite. Hook your friends up.

    On a side note, what if I'm flying to/back from the Chicago Do in Halloween gear which just happens to be military dress? Do I have to show formal ID or is the outfit enough to get through as an elite and possibly score an upgrade from a generous 1st class passenger?
     
  13. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I travel with family and friends a lot, usually through SEA, and never had a problem. I believe you shouldn't have a problem too Scott. Good Travel!!!
     
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  14. DeacFlyer1
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    I can't imagine you'll have a problem. I truly don't think 80% of the people monitoring elite lines enforce anything. The number of times I've seen someone in the elite line with the last boarding zone printed on their BP are too numerous to count. If anything, the agent says something, but still lets them through because they're already at the front of the line and it would be more hassle to have them try to work their way back out of the line. Kindof stupid, but that's how I've seen it work...
     
  15. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    For the record, I've brought non-elite family/friends/colleagues through often when on the same flight, if not the same reservation. I've only brought someone through once who was going to a different location. Now that I think of it, though, a colleague did bring me through the elite line once when I was just starting traveling and had no status, although I was going home and he was going on to another city. So I've been involved in 2 relevant situations, once on each side.
     
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  16. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Most TSA screeners won't care. Management of the elite line is handled by the airport and/or individual airlines (where the airlines pay).
     
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  17. N965VJ
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    That was nice! :)
     
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  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Isn't it a felony to impersonate military personnel?
     
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  19. Flyer1976
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    They'll just lock him up and send him to the Castle.
     
  20. MSPeconomist
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    Seriously, I think it would be wrong to obtain or accept elite benefits, including especially an upgrade from another passenger or that would otherwise go to an elite passenger who has earned it, because someone falsely believes you're in the military.
     
  21. Flyer1976
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    I agree with you...one time it was Halloween and we had about 20 "Sailors" and 5 pax get on SAN-PHX on US and F/C was wide open...We upgraded the 5 pax to F and made the Y Cabin a F Cabin for the flight ...after landing... the crew realized they weren't even real Sailors but a group of Fraternity brothers going to a Pledge Party in PHX at ASU...

    National Security trumps all and no one should be impersonating or pretending to be something that they are not on Federal/State property regardless...
     
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  22. Morsel
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    I wouldn't expect you'd have a problem. If you work backwards, a non-elite on the same PNR would surely qualify to go through with you, but on UA for example, they don't get any elite indication printed on their BP. When I went through with my non-elite GF, one of us would proactively say that we're "traveling together" (which can be true if you're at the airport together, whether or not you're on the same PNR, flight, or airline) and that would be that.

    The ONLY time I've ever had an issue was at SFO UA Int'l side, when I used a DL domestic boarding pass (sky priority) plus a President's Club membership card (elite access) to get at the RCC for a while. The lady just had a bug about her and finally said I could go through but could only bring one of my two companions through. (This is arbitrary right?)
     
  23. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    so if one drives a nice car, or lives in a nice home we should for go the benefits of hard work and give it away and live in boxes under a bridge as well? happened in russia once, didn't turn out too well for them.
     
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  24. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    My non-elite companion generally appreciates me getting him or her through the expedited line and into a better seat far more than me giving up benefits to slum it. Usually my non-elite family members are far more interested in what perks I can share.
     
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  25. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    That's certainly more beneficial for all concerned than donning a hairshirt.
     

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