Trusted traveler selection

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  #1  
Old 06-16-17, 10:16 PM
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Trusted traveler selection

I didn't want to post this in Travel, since it's more general and I never really plan to fly again if I can avoid it. I'm a hit the road and drive guy...always have been.

About 3 yrs ago, I went down to the USVI where my now-ex decided to move. Well, the trip was kind of a waste, but I've always been curious about one thing.

Instead of the long line, I went to print my check-in ticket at one of the kiosks after asking at Information about using it. At first she said I couldn't because it was an international flight. I said...uh, US virgin Islands? She oops'd and said sure you can.

Well, when I did, I noticed that I was a "Trusted Traveler". Not having flown in years and years (pre-9/11) I had to ask what it meant. Info desk said it means I could go to the short line and not have to strip to my scivvies and have my bags inspected. Just walk through the scanner and put metal and carry-on (only bag) on the belt. I mean, it was like back in the old days. No line, I went though like a breeze and the TSA guys were all smiles and helpful. Same thing happened on the return trip a week later.

So, the question is, why the heck did I get selected? I've searched and searched whenever it pops in to my head and everything I find says you have to request it for a variety of reasons. Was it because I was retired military, high security clearance, absolutely no criminal record, or hadn't traveled since the program started? A combination of the above? The -ex had the same qualifications and never got such "status". Though she did have checked luggage.

If anyone who travels by air a lot or even occasionally and has encountered the same thing, I'd appreciate a clue.

(btw, the trip was a bust and I got divorced a year later, but my -ex is now my best friend and lives in the same house with me. Pretty happy ending actually, we get along better than when we were married.)
 
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  #2  
Old 06-17-17, 03:39 AM
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The TSA and airlines used to select people at random and allow them to go through what is now the TSA Pre-Check line. Long ago I think it was done to promote the system and get people to enrol. I have also seen them select people at random from the regular security line (they had an iPad that would randomly pop up a green arrow) and send them through Pre-Check I suppose to help ease the lines but I have not seen it done recently.
 
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Old 06-17-17, 04:50 AM
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Don't know about trusted fliers but wife and I quit flying when seats got so small. I am not a large guy and wife is small and we hate the cramp seating.
PS Vic we will be in your area in august.
 
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Old 06-17-17, 03:03 PM
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Thanks, PD. I thought it might have been something like that the first time, but then it happened on the return as well and just stuck in my mind.

Where you going Don? I mean, "my area" could be anywhere from LV to the Grand Canyon to the CO River in Laughlin to Flagstaff and Sedona. It's big empty country out here.

Hope you are ready for the heat at the lower elevations. That's one of our hottest wettest months.
 
  #5  
Old 06-18-17, 03:52 PM
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The last couple of times we flew we were "TSA PreCheck". A really good thing when you are flying out of Orlando with their hour long lines. We have six flights in the next couple of weeks and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get the same stamp on our boarding passes. Unfortunately though, I think free TSA PreCheck status is going to go away.

Like most people, I always thought flying was an enjoyable experience. I flew a dozen or more times a year for work and my wife and I would fly two or three times a year for vacations. Now we only fly when we have to. We gave up on Hawaii and Europe because the flying part of the trip sucked so bad.

Flying these days is like taking a bus but with crappier seats.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 05:18 PM
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Flying these days is like riding a bus. Having upper level airline frequent flyer status helps at the front end to avoid the check in line. Then TSA Pre-Check helps with the security line. Premium status or first class gets you on board earlier. And if you are in first class a PDB (pre departure beverage) can help relieve the stress of travel. Other than that there is nothing glamorous or fun about it unless you are flying international and riding up front.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 08:50 AM
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My impression is the Pre-check line is random. Your ticket will show the pre-check status and you should jump on that offer (ha).
It's possible they check FBI files and such, if they do have access to info they probably won't inform you of that.

Either way, I like the short line..
 
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Old 06-27-17, 09:09 AM
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I just printed boarding passes for a flight to Denver. They are TSA Prechecked. We are flying senior fares and it may be an age thing. We have been TSA precheck since we startd flying SouthWest senior fares.
 
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Old 06-27-17, 12:40 PM
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Huh, maybe they don't consider seniors any threat? Guess they've never been between a tour group of them and the buffet table.
 
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Old 06-27-17, 02:04 PM
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Now that I think about it I don't know what the qualifications are for PreCheck. I've got Global Entry which required filling out a form and paying a fee. They check your background then there is an in person interview so it's certainly more than random selection. With Global Entry I automatically got PreCheck so I assume it has a lower security standard.
 
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Old 06-27-17, 04:28 PM
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After I posted I got an e-mail from Southwest. We have a flight to San Francisco coming up and they informed me that pre check was almost full. However, if we paid the $85 fee to enroll we could be guaranteed TSA Pre for the next 5 years,
 
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Old 06-27-17, 04:53 PM
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Global Entry is a program more for international travel. I think it's run through Immigration/Customs. PreCheck is more a US thing. To get PreCheck I'm pretty sure it the same procedure (forms, interview, just less expensive). Global Entry assist with getting through customs/immigration, PreCheck does not. I wouldn't consider it lower security, Global Entry just looks at additional stuff related to international travel.

I have been told they pick passenger (via some algorithm) for PreCheck in order to give them the idea of what the $85 will get them in the hopes they sign up.

I've also seen them open up the PreCheck line to everybody when there is a large backlog of passengers.

Soapbox: It's a bit of a scam imo, as the security provided by TSA is pathetic whether you go through PreCheck or the cattle line. I swallowed my pride and payed the ransom just 'cuz I hate the crap you have to go through without it.

They won this time.
 
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Old 06-27-17, 05:20 PM
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CW, guess that will teach you to bring it up. They've probably been monitoring your activity.
 
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