Finally Southwest gets TSA PreCheck!

Finally the news lots of travelers were waiting for. As we wrote on last month’s article, Southwest has started participating in TSA PreCheck effective immediately.


Why TSA PreCheck is great

With PreCheck, you can keep the following on when going through security:

  • Shoes
  • 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
  • Laptop from bag
  • Light outerwear/jacket
  • Belt

The fee to participate is $85 and is good for 5 years. However, if you have the American Express Platinum card, you can get Global Entry clearance for free after rebate ($100), which will then automatically give you TSA PreCheck for free. This is one of the most convenient travel benefits, as nowadays you pretty much have to undress when going through security, which is very inconvenient, cumbersome and time consuming.

How to get TSA PreCheck applied to your reservation

If you already have a Global Entry Trusted Traveler number, simply enter it in your profile for all participating airlines. You can find Southwest rules on this link. The process for Southwest seems a little different, at least on the early stages of their implementation. The rules on their site say that you will only get pre-checked for reservations booked after opting in. I was in the middle of booking a reservation a couple of nights ago, and I just cancelled and rebooked just to be sure. I do have a couple of reservations coming up that I did not rebook, so it will be interesting to see whether I clear for PreCheck on those. Normally with other airlines, just having your number on file will make your boarding pass print with the PreCheck clearance. I do believe it will be the same case with Southwest, if not now, in the near future.

To add your Trusted Traveler number to your profile, simply go to “My Account”, then “My Preferences”, “Contact Information”, and edit your information by adding your number.

Southwest-TSA-PrecheckKeep in mind that even though an airline might participate, the airport you’re flying out of might not, so check out this list to see what airports participate. The list is pretty extensive and growing.

If you fly enough, I strongly recommend you invest a couple of hours of your time to fill out the extensive application and attend your interview. It will save you countless of headaches and races through the airport trying to make your flight on time with your shoes in your hand and your belt in your teeth. It’s a priceless benefit.

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2 Responses to Finally Southwest gets TSA PreCheck!

  1. dany says:

    just a note, sometimes belts will set the detector off. they told me last time i went through to remove my belt. just keep in mind not to fight with TSA if they ask you to take off your belt

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