Key mistakes to avoid when traveling with TSA PreCheck


With the summer travel season already in full swing, more Americans are enrolling in trusted traveler programs such as the TSA PreCheck.

But even if you made the effort to get your Known Traveler Number (KTN), there are a few steps you need to follow to reap the benefits of the program and get the most out of your money.

If you travel, you’ve seen them. TSA PreCheck lines are usually shorter than regular airport screening lines.

The expedited screening program is now available at 117 airports nationwide, including Honolulu International Airport.

In addition to shorter lines, you don’t need to remove your shoes or take out your laptop and liquids. You can also keep your belts and light jackets on.

There are certain steps you need to follow. First, you need to fill out a form online, then go the airport for a quick interview and pay an $85 fee.

“But the more important part is you have to go online and register and put your Known Traveler Number into your frequent flyer account, otherwise you’re still going to wind up standing in that long line,” advised Gene Miyaki of Non-Stop Travel.

With thousands of people signing up for the program every week, more and more so called “trusted travelers” are still being sent to the back of the line, mostly because of errors made or forgetting to enter the KTN when booking a reservation or checking in for a flight online.

“It’s always a good idea to check on your boarding pass and so forth. Make sure you got a PreCheck right on your boarding pass,” Miyaki said.

To get your known traveler ID number, you must be a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, and haven’t been convicted of certain crimes.

“If you did what you did, which is apply for the TSA PreCheck and get your global entry and you updated your profile, you should be good to go,” Miyaki said. “(Otherwise) you’ll be in that long line and you just wasted $90.”

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