Earlier today I received an email from ‘the new’ American Airlines. It seems they are taking a page from TSA’s playbook from a few weeks about by notifying customers of upcoming changes to the TSA Precheck program:
This month, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is making changes to the TSA Pre✓® Trusted Traveler Program that will impact which travelers receive expedited screening. If you’re not already a member of one of the Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry or the TSA Pre✓® Application Program, you will probably see a decline in how often you receive expedited screening, even if you’ve previously “opted-in” through a frequent flyer program.
That roughly translates into the TSA Precheck program is reducing the amount of flyers that are allowed to get the TSA Precheck stamp of approval without being a member of one of the official programs. What do I mean some people were allowed to just get expedited security without going through the applications process?! Good question. In short, some carriers offered expedited security to their passengers. This was not a 100% fool-proof method, but it allowed customers to get through quickly most of the time.
They go on to say:
The best way to increase your chances of receiving TSA Pre✓® on a regular basis is to register for a Trusted Traveler Program with the Department of Homeland Security at dhs.gov/tt. Once you receive your Known Traveler Number (KTN) from TSA, be sure you update your AAdvantage profile.
This basically means that you should really think about…and then actually apply for one of the Trusted Traveler Programs that will gain you entrance to TSA Precheck. Once you get your KTN, add it to your account.
To add your KTN to your AAdvantage profile: Login to your account on aa.com and select My Account from the AAdvantage menu. Within My Account, go to the Information and Password tab. Finally, add your Customs and Border Protection 9-digit PASS ID to your secure traveler information. For more information on TSA Pre✓®, visit tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.
Straight From The Source
If you go to the TSA Precheck website you will not find this info readily available. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but that is just they way it goes. Instead, head over to the TSA blog at this link. Here is an excerpt.
If you are one of the individuals listed above, who has a KTN, you are all set for expedited screening. Just follow these helpful tips to ensure your KTN is listed in your reservation in order to utilize TSA Pre✓® at 133 airports nationwide.
As more and more travelers obtain KTNs, soon, travelers without a Known Traveler Number or KTN, including those who previously “opted-in” via a frequent flyer program, will notice a reduction in the frequency in which they are chosen for TSA Pre✓®. If you want to keep receiving TSA Pre✓® on a consistent/reliable basis for the next five years, you are encouraged to enroll in one of the four trusted traveler programs offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. To learn more about these programs, and to view a comparison chart of the benefits, visit www.dhs.gov/tt.
In short, join the TSA Precheck via one of the four programs that are available and save your KTN in your frequent flyer account. This makes booking a flight easier to record your mileage and to ensure your KTN is automatically added to your reservation. What? You don’t have a frequent flyer account? Read here.
In short, if you were getting it for free through a carrier or frequent flyer program, expect to start paying for it.