So you've been preapproved for PreCheck, the government's new fast-pass airport security screening program — either because you're a high-mileage frequent flier invited by your airline to participate, or you're a member off the Global Entry, Sentri or Nexus expedited U.S./Canadian/Mexican border-crossing programs.
What are your chances of actually getting to use the special lanes at U.S. airports where low-risk passengers no longer have to take off shoes or jackets, remove laptops and liquids from carry-ons, nor walk though full-body scanners?
TSA has said from the get-go that it will operate PreCheck on a per-flight basis, meaning it still will select some travelers for full screening (you don't find out until you get to the airport, where an agent scans a bar code on your boarding pass).
Anecdotal evidence suggests some people are ending up in the slow lane more often than they expected. So I asked some of our Seattle Times readers to write in with their experiences. We published some responses in today's Travel Wise column. Click here to see what they had to say.
Confused about how to qualify for PreCheck:
For now, there are two ways:
1) Accept an invitation from your airline, likely only if you're a high-mileage frequent flier. Information on TSA's website.
2) Apply for Global Entry, Nexus or Sentri. Once approved, enter your number in the "known traveler" box when making your airline reservation. Click here for details.
I had an interesting interview recently on this with Rudy Maxa, host of the Rudy Maxa World travel radio show. Here's a link to the podcast.