The Transportation Security Administration’s Pre-Check program (TSA Pre✓®) continues to make travel easier for airline passengers. On April 24, 2019, the program welcomed Qatar Airways and Edelweiss Air as TSA Pre✓ eligible airlines. The former is particularly huge considering the number of flights on Qatar between the USA and Doha.
This comes on the heels of the program adding nine new eligible airlines for which passengers can use TSA Pre✓ back in late February 2019. Those airlines were: Air India, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Elite Airways, EVA Airways, Japan Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Volaris.
Now it’s possible to cut lines and breeze through airport security (read: no shoes, belt, laptop, or toiletry removal) on a total of 67 airlines at over 200 airports nationwide. That’s up from 47 last year at this time. (Big additions to the networks such as British Airways and Japan Airlines were quietly added throughout 2018.)
Best of all, since it’s an automatic perk of having Global Entry, getting TSA Pre✓ is simple, straightforward, and even free—if you have the right credit card. Here, the latest on updates to the TSA Pre✓ program, and how it’s still possible to score TSA Pre✓ without paying a dime. Here’s how.
Which new airlines offer expedited screening through TSA Pre✓?
Just this week, Qatar Airways and Edelweiss Air joined the TSA Pre✓ family.
This brings the total airlines participating in TSA Pre✓, as of April 2019, to 67 at over 200 airports. Note: The most current list of airlines is always updated on TSA’s official list and participating airlines are always updated at TSA’s Pre✓ map.
Don’t forget that you must add your TSA Pre✓ “Known Traveler Number” to your flight reservation prior to check-in for the TSA Pre✓ symbol to populate on your boarding pass, paper or electronic.
Are thereany airlines that still do no participate in TSA Pre✓?
Yes! Noticeably still absent from the TSA Pre✓list are Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, Ethiopian Airlines, Fiji Airways, Hainan, Iberia, and Qantas.
What are the benefits of TSA Pre✓ and how do I get it?
The TSA Pre✓program gives travelers access to expedited security departure lines, where you do not need to remove shoes, belts, laptops, or liquids. According to TSA statistics, in January 2018, 94 percent of TSA Pre✓passengers waited less than five minutes to go through airport security.
There are two ways to get TSA Pre✓. One is to apply directly through the TSA website, enter all the necessary personal background information, submit a completed application, and pay the nonrefundable $85 fee (which may be eligible for reimbursement through your credit card benefits—see below).
Once your application is conditionally approved, you’ll receive a message to schedule an in-person appointment at a TSA Pre✓center, typically located at or near major US airports. You’ll need to bring a valid form of identification (e.g., a valid driver’s license), have your photo taken, and have your fingerprints scanned. If your background check turns up clean and the interviewer identifies you as a legal, low-security-risk traveler, you’ll receive a nine-digit “Known Traveler Number” on the spot (valid for five years) and be able to utilize the benefits immediately.
The second way to get TSA Pre✓—and the way we recommend doing it—is by applying for Global Entry and paying the $100 fee. The process is similar to the one described above. Instead of just a driver’s license, you will need a valid passport. Also, it’s entirely possible to do your Global Entry interview on arrival from international flights where there are “Enrollment on Arrival” locations instead of having to go to a traditional enrollment center.
Global Entry is a trusted traveler program that allows you to bypass the traditional immigration and customs lines at 68 major airports at press time (53 of which are in the United States, 15 of which are in airports abroad where clearance into the United States takes place pre-flight). When you are approved for Global Entry, you are automatically enrolled in TSA Pre✓: No need for a separate application or application fee. Your Global Entry PASS ID serves as your TSA Pre✓“Known Traveler Number.”
How do I get TSA Pre✓ for free?
Use the right credit card with the right benefits to pay the nonrefundable application fee, and TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry (with TSA Pre✓ bonus) won’t cost you a cent. The charge will automatically come off within days of it clearing your account.
The following luxury credit cards offer an $85 TSA Pre✓ credit OR a $100 Global Entry statement credit every four to five years (as you must renew your PASS ID every five years):
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Citi Prestige®Card
- Mastercard®Black Card®
- Mastercard®Gold Card®
- The Platinum Card®from American Express
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite®Card
The following luxury credit cards do not offer a TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry statement credit:
- American Express Gold card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Mastercard®Titanium Card