Participants in TSA Precheck like to think of it as the ultimate line pass—the quickest way from the ticket counter to the gate at any airport.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Precheck is an expedited security screening program that makes it easier for frequent travelers from the United States to fly. The formal language indicates that qualifying passengers considered “low-risk” (after an in-person interview) can receive expedited screening. To put that in simpler terms: If you get in (again, after that face-to-face) you can breeze through security checkpoints without removing your shoes or taking your laptop out of its bag.
When you make it into Precheck (and after you pay the US$85 fee), TSA awards you with a known traveler number (KTN) to use when making flight reservations. Rezzies with KTNs trigger special indicators on boarding passes, effectively providing you with the goods you need to cut the line.
Earlier this year, Expedia added a box for Precheck participants to input their KTNs when booking flights on Expedia.com. It was a big deal for Expedia. Now it’s a big deal for everyone who books on the site.
Viewfinder Tip: Inputting your KTN at the time of booking can save you hours of waiting down the road.
How much of a big deal? Consider this: Fellow Expedia Viewfinder bloggers, Captain and Clark, told me they regularly make it from their car in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport parking lot through security and to their gate in five minutes or less. Though I’m not a member (yet), I’ve had a few lucky experiences with Precheck at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and I can’t tell you how nice it was NOT to have to bend over and untie my sneakers. Or take off my belt.
Inputting KTN on Expedia.com is incredibly easy. As you work your way through the booking process, just before check-out, you’ll find a spot to share the information. Once you add it to your reservation, Expedia processes it just like the airlines would, guaranteeing that your KTN (and, through the transitive property, your Precheck status) shows up on your boarding pass for smooth sailing through TSA.
As part of the celebration around this new functionality on our site, Expedia+ business has an exclusive offer just for Expedia’s top business-travel customers (i.e. business travelers and travel arrangers): Five years of complimentary Precheck when you join Expedia+ business and book a qualifying hotel stay. The offer is by invitation only, and awards are limited to the first 1,000 customers that qualify.
(If you’re wondering about the logistics of this promo, qualifying customers will be awarded an authorization code which covers the full cost of the Precheck application fee, and is valid for five years of Precheck.)
So give it a try! Line passes are wonderful things (as I wrote earlier this year in regard to CLEAR). IMHO, anything that makes the flying experience easier these days is an investment worth making.