The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the expansion of TSA PreCheck to Southwest Airlines, Atlanta’s second largest carrier.
Important: This does NOT apply to flights on AirTran Airways, which Southwest Airlines purchased in 2011. Why? A Southwest spokesperson told The TICKET: “It’s a function of technology. We are on two different reservations systems. With AirTran flights decreasing each schedule release, the technology was only enabled on Southwest.”
Today’s announcement makes a total of eight domestic carriers including: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
As most frequent travelers know, PreCheck allows pre-approved travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes at 100 airports nationwide.
If a Southwest Airlines passenger is eligible for expedited screening, a TSA PreCheck indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass so that when scanned at the checkpoint, the you’ll be granted access to a TSA PreCheck lane. Southwest Airlines will also print a TSA PreCheck indicator directly on the boarding pass so passengers will know in advance that they have been cleared for expedited screening. But remember, the TSA warns that is will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport, and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. (which is why I still carry a CLEAR card, which works at both SFO and San Jose)
Here’s how it works:
Elite level Rapid Rewards members will receive notification that he/she is eligible to opt-in to the program and chooses to participate or a passenger includes a Known Traveler Number within a reservation, Southwest Airlines will share certain information with the TSA Secure Flight System.
Note: Only reservations booked after opting-in are eligible for TSA PreCheck.
Global Entry or Trusted Traveler participants will need to provide their CBP-assigned PASS ID number in the “Known Traveler #” field during the booking process at southwest.com andswabiz.com. The passenger’s Trusted Traveler information will be submitted along with reservation information to TSA’s Secure Flight system. Trusted Traveler program members should also remember to enter their full name, date of birth, and PASS ID exactly as it appears on their membership card.
IMPORTANT: Global Entry and CBP Trusted Traveler participants can add their PASS ID number to their Southwest Rapid Rewards Member profile to have the number automatically sent to TSA when booking reservations.
For more information, see www.southwest.com/TSAprecheck.
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