TSA PreCheck: travel agent bookings can kick you out of the program (thanks Delta IT)

“No,” said by the TSA agent at New York LaGuardia in something between a grunt and a mumble.

First missed TSA PreCheck for The Rapid Traveler in a several months.

When it happened again at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, The Rapid Traveler wondered aloud what was happening. Yes, the program is random, but he rarely misses it.

“Did a travel agent book your flight?” the smart and friendly (Minnesotan, after all) TSA agent asked.

“Yes, this is the first ticket my new employer booked through their agent.”

“We have heard lots of complaints like that. Something about the travel agent booking can kick you out of the program. Go in and buy a refundable ticket, then cancel it, and you should be back in.”

St. Paul Minneapolis International Airport

Photo by coolmikeol

This is refreshing, savvy candor, in stark contrast to the many times The Rapid Traveler has tried to talk with TSA agents about PreCheck.

Sure enough, when he checked his Delta profile, his Known Traveler Number (Global Entry) had vanished, so he reentered that. Odd that this did not happen earlier in the PreCheck program with his old employer’s agent but maybe that agent’s system was better or the trigger is a new agent . His Known Traveler Number is logged into the new agent’s system but clearly did not help.

Known Traveler Number aside, he still should have been eligible as Sky Priority, so he followed the TSA agent’s advice, booking an award ticket that he will cancel in a few days.

Next up is a leisure trip this weekend, booked prior to the agent-booked business ticket. Hopefully work will not infringe on play.

Has anyone else had this issue? With airlines other than Delta?

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  • DeltaFFlyer

    It could have nothing to do with that at all. Sometimes the computer just doesn’t select you!

  • @DeltaFFlyer – indeed, but in this case then the computer also randomly removed my Global Entry number from my profile. I am inclined to believe the TSA agent for what is happening.

  • Winger

    Question on precheck. I booked a hawaii vacation for the family last year for this coming November. A month ago, I joined global entry and precheck through aa and ua. If precheck opens up in sfo prior to November, will we qualify for possible precheck selection at sfo?

  • @Winger – it sounds like you updated your AA and UA profiles with your Global Entry number so that will make you eligible, not guaranteed to be selected on specific instances, but at least eligible. The issue will be be your companions, children 12 and under can accompany you, but a spouse or older children need to meet the requirements on their own to be selected. It does not appear that them not being selected would remove you, so you may be split.

    Here’s the official FAQ:

    Q. Are travel companions eligible for TSA Pre✓™ as well?
    A. Passengers that do not meet the necessary requirements are not eligible to participate at this time; however, passengers 12 and under are eligible for TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening benefits as part of our modified screening procedures for this age group.

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