Last night, I dutifully checked in for today’s Southwest Airlines flight home. Of course, I checked in at 23 hours and 53 minutes before my flight so I was assigned boarding group number B20, but that’s OK with me. What wasn’t OK? My electronic boarding pass was missing something that looks like this.
Yes, I know one can be “randomized” out. Yes, I know it’s not guaranteed, even if you are a “known traveler.” But the truth is that I have missed one time in all the flights I’ve taken since signing up for Global Entry, and I’m convinced that had more to do with United’s creaky IT than any real “random” out.
When traveling on company business, our agent books our Southwest flights through some unknown system. Unlike every other airline on earth, when they book a Southwest flight, they cannot add a Rapid Rewards number. Doing so at the origination of the reservation, at least according to someone I spoke with at Southwest, would automatically pull in my KTN which is on file with Southwest. In the absence of normalcy, I always wind up adding my Rapid Rewards number via Southwest’s website when company travel books me. Then I either call Southwest to have my KTN added, or I’ve become accustomed to reaching out to their very nice Twitter team who takes care of it for me. This is what I did for this reservation, with the exception of booking it via the phone with company travel instead of the electronic system.
The scene shifts to last night’s check in. As the daunting realization that I no longer pack for not getting PreCheck dawned on me, I DM’d Southwests great Twitter team to verify that my KTN# was entered. The response was something to the effect of “you’re all set.” I took that as it’s in there and there’s nothing else we can do. But this morning, for whatever reason, I recalled my boarding pass via Southwest’s iPhone app. Low and behold, the PreCheck designator was there.
In truth, I have no idea whether this was a glitch or if Southwest’s Twitter folks actually corrected something that was going on with my KTN entry into my reservation. The bottom line is that it never hurts to recheck with an airline agent if you are a known traveler and don’t get PreCheck. It could be something as simple as an incorrectly entered KTN. Or maybe you really did get randomed out. But at least you know you tried.
-MJ, June 25, 2015