TSA PreCheck versus EXP/PLT/GLD for security?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by zpaul, Jan 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

?

Which of the below do you think is better for expedited security screening?

  1. TSA PreCheck

    78.6%
  2. Airline Status/Priority Line

    7.1%
  3. It's all the same

    14.3%
  1. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Now that American will be the launch airline for the TSA's PreCheck program at LAX (http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_19762183) and it's now in many airports I use I have a question - which is better for clearing security, that program or elite status?

    Poll above, comment below.
     
  2. aamilesslave
    Original Member

    aamilesslave Silver Member

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    The C30 pilot lane at DFW still requires you to wait in the Priority AAccess lane until your ID and BP are checked. With that setup, the time saving is minimal if you are selected and nill if you are not selected.
     
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  3. freqtrvlr

    freqtrvlr Silver Member

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    PreCheck is now open at the priority access checkpoint in the AA terminal at LAX ( went through yesterday).
     
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  4. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Why do you think PreCheck is better than the priority lines?
     
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  5. Jason
    Original Member

    Jason Silver Member

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    In my experience, it's really two different things, and you need both to get the best benefit. The Status/Priority line gets you to the checkpoint faster. However, the PreCheck simply gets you through the post-checkpoint security faster and is more comfortable since you don't need to remove shoes/belt/liquids, etc. As far as which saves more time, I think it's totally a function on how long the security line pre-checkpoint is. It's not like you can enter the PreCheck line when entering security...atleast not at DFW.
     
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  6. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Good point. Living outside of the US the PreCheck program is a bit fuzzy to me; now I understand the differences (and possible synergies) between the two.
     
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  7. freqtrvlr

    freqtrvlr Silver Member

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    Hi zpaul,
    For now at least its much faster after clearing the ID check. I have never had anyone in front of me the 8 times I've been able to use it. Plus. there is no pulling the laptop out, no removing the laptop/belt/shoes/liquids/jacket. Just put you bags on the belt, walk though the metal detector and your off.

    Best of both worlds for me would be a Clear/PreCheck combo where you have your own seperate ID clearance area and then right on to the scanner without having to do the usual liquids/shoes/belts/laptop dance.
     
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  8. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    I've been a member of Clear since it was introduced since my US home airport is DEN - it sounds like a good match with PreCheck.

    So I'm thinking the answer I'm hearing in words isn't available in the poll I created...they are complementary.
     
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  9. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    At LAX yesterday, the First/Business/Elite security line was divided by a ribbon divider into PreCheck and not PreCheck lines. The TSA agent who was checking documents processed everyone who was in the PreCheck line, making the non-PreCheck line wait. There was one (PreCheck) passenger at the podium when we sailed up in the Precheck line, and about a dozen in the non-PreCheck line. As soon as he finished with the passenger he had, the TSA agent motioned us up to the podium. Minor grumbling in the other line. When we were cleared, we were motioned into a separate area, where there was nobody waiting to go through. We tossed our carryons onto the belt, and went through the magnetometer with shoes and belt on. It must be dialed back a bit, as we didn't set it off. The non-PreCheck passengers got the nude-o-scope. Our experience with PreCheck was the fastest we have ever cleared security anyplace.
     
  10. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    So I emailed AA about getting an invite for the program, and this is what I got back:

    Dear Mr. Zpaul, Thank you for telling us that you'd like to participate in the TSA's Screening Pilot, known as PreCheck. We have registered your preference in your AAdvantage account. This means that every time you include your AAdvantage number in a reservation, the TSA will know that you're eligible for PreCheck selection at designated airport checkpoints -- starting now. Please note that opting-in does not guarantee that the TSA will select you for PreCheck screening at the airport. For more details on how the TSA administers its PreCheck program at the airport, visit www.aa.com/tsaprecheck at your convenience. I'm glad I could assist you in this matter. Hope you have a great day!

    That's all there is to it? I get the feeling that I'm not really in the program, but I might possibly be able to walk through security in my shoes maybe once.
     
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  11. freqtrvlr

    freqtrvlr Silver Member

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    Yes, that's all it was for me as well. I received the same email resonse from AA that you did after asking them for an invite (I had deleted my original). The next morning at Miami I was allowed to go through PreCheck. I thought there would be more to it to get qualified.
     
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  12. retirementdreams

    retirementdreams Silver Member

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    zpaul...what was email address that you contacted aa at?? (wow this is hardly grammatically correct..)
     
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  13. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    I wrote to them via the "Contact Us" button on the website, and the form that pops up when you click on "email customer service." But here's the deal, to add it yourself, go to aa.com and log into your account. Under the "Personal Information and Password" tab you'll see a section at the top, Secure Flight Information. Click "edit" on the last line, which is the TSA Expedited Screening Program, and you can opt yourself in that way, no contact with AA necessary.

    For any existing reservations you'll have to call AA and have them remove your AADvantage number from them and put it back in so that the change will be reflected.

    From what I understand from the email AA sent me, this will cause the bar code printed on your BPs to indicate that you are eligible for the PreCheck program and the TSA can then wave you through the PreCheck line, if they choose to.

    See you in four days, seatmate!
     
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  14. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    (bolding mine)
    Are you sure about this? I was told that existing reservations were "all set" since they included my AAdv number. The CSRs I spoke to didn't mention anything about having to remove/add it for all existing PNRs... Maybe I should explicitly ask that they do this, just to be sure?
     
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  15. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    The CSR I spoke to told me that any time there are changes to your profile you should do that for any existing reservations (like when your status changes). I didn't know until I checked in for my first flight after hitting Platinum and my BPs printed with Gold and Ruby rather than my current status. That's when I was told this the first time, and the CSR on the phone when I called to update the TSA info told me the same.

    I'm not the expert, though...just what I was told! I suppose it can't hurt in any event.
     
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  16. jsm

    jsm Gold Member

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    Just went through the PreCheck line today. I am opted in on aa.com - there is no special bar code on my boarding pass. I got in the line through the Flagship check-in, so if I did not have flagship, not sure how I would have gotten into that line. They have removed the scanners all together from the elite check in area and divided it into two areas - one you take everything out and one you leave everything in.
     
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  17. sukn
    Original Member

    sukn Silver Member

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    There is no nude-o-scope at the LAX T-4 (4A) TSA security checkpoint. Only two metal detectors.

    The nude-o-scope was removed from 4A specifically in preparation for the TT program.
     
  18. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    It looked like one to me. Glass on two sides. People walking in and raising their hands.
     
  19. sukn
    Original Member

    sukn Silver Member

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    That's the glass door holding area if they want to manually do additional screening on you.

    The nude-o-scope machines are blue.
     
  20. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    Nope. Give it up. I was there. You were not. I've been through nude-o-scopes a lot. Some are gray. This was a nude-o-scope. Sorry.
     
  21. sukn
    Original Member

    sukn Silver Member

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    And I was there two days ago. I will be there in another two days. What is your point?

    When I first noticed (a couple of weeks ago) that the nude-o-scope was gone from 4A, I mentioned it to a TSA agent. She specifically told me it was removed in preperation for the TT program. So while you only observed (incorrectly at that), I actually had a conversation about it with an agent. :p
     
  22. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    My point is that I can't say what was there two days ago, when you were there. I can only tell you what was there 8 days ago, when I was there. So I don't try to tell you what was there when you were there and I wasn't. That wouldn't be very smart of me.

    I've never has an agent tell me something that was incorrect :rolleyes:, but it will surely happen sometime.
     
  23. sukn
    Original Member

    sukn Silver Member

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    I was about to respond to your post but then I remembered your signature line from FT:

    "Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then they beat you with experience."

    I'll leave it at that.
     
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  24. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    I experienced my first PreCheck on Sunday at LAX. Also came from Flagship check-in, with my father, who isn't a Trusted Traveler. We both went on the left line to the podium (since we had the red Flagship stamp on our boarding passes). The TSA checker immediately took our BPs (I didn't make eye contact with any of the other 30 or so pax on line to the right) and directed me to the Pre Check line and my father to the normal security line. It was very cool and surreal to put my jacket and backpack on the belt and just walk through the metal detector! I had to wait for my dad to go through and get his shoes on, but otherwise, I would have been out of the security area in 30 seconds or less. It was around 9:20am and there was (IIRC) just one pax just leaving the PreCheck line and no one following me.
     
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  25. Juanefny

    Juanefny Silver Member

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    I got to go through it this Sunday when leaving LAX from the megado and I thought this was a godsend. I can't wait for this to be deployed systemwide! Sooo much faster than the regular lines and the nude-o-scope :)
     

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