If you are a frequent traveler, getting Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check will save you time.
I have a Global Entry membership, so I had been able to breeze through most security lines at the airports. TSA security officers could still randomly “select” you to go through (edit: an enhanced screening). I’ve not yet encountered it myself, but I’ve seen it happen to others. It’s rare and random, but it’s always good to keep that in mind.
What if TSA Pre-Check isn’t printed on your Boarding Pass?
Just this past week, I was flying on Delta for a domestic flight. When I checked in the night before, I was disappointed to see that “TSA Pre-Check” wasn’t printed on my boarding pass. I went to the Delta’s profile page and saw that that I had not added my “Known Traveler Number” to my profile.
That’s easy enough, I thought. I added in my KTN and then went to re-print my boarding pass. The TSA Pre-Check designation still didn’t show up.
I started to investigate and quickly figured out the problem.
Slight Name Mismatch
Everything appears on my boarding pass correctly, but my Delta profile had the first part of my first name as my middle initial, which was obviously different from my official name with Global Entry.
For example: Jane Susan Doe
With Global Entry:
First name: Jane Susan
Last name: Doe
With Delta Airlines:
First name: Jane
Middle name: Susan
Last: name: Doe
Everything looks right on the boarding pass, but the name obviously didn’t match the TSA database.
Updating my Delta Basic Information Profile
Since the name cannot be updated online, I thought I could just call in and have the Delta agent update the information for me. I expected it to be quick. After all, there was no name change. They just needed to shift the middle name over to the first name. It turned out that it wasn’t as simple. The rep needed me to fill out the online form, summarize the issue, and upload (ID) documentation.
I submitted the request and it took about 4 days for the request to be completed. In other words, if you have a flight the next day, you probably won’t get it fixed in time.
At the Airport
I ushered my family to go to the TSA Pre line while I head to the regular line. The staff stopped to ask me why we are splitting into two lines, so I explained that I don’t have TSA Pre access. She pulled me aside and asked me to wait while she let a few other passengers through. She then turned to me and asked if I know my TSA Pre number. I said I do. She said it would be quick if I just head to the Delta counter to give them my number.
I explained to her that the number isn’t the problem, and that I already added my number to my profile. I had just come from the check-in kiosk area to drop off a bag so I already know there’s a line at the Delta counter. Even if Delta staff updated my name, there’s no assurance that my TSA-Pre-Check would sync up immediately either. With less than an hour to go before I need to be at the gate, I just want to get through the security process.
The staff insisted – even getting slightly argumentative with me – that it’d be faster if I go to the counter. I kept it polite but firm that I’m OK with the regular line today. She finally relented, but in a slightly frustrated tone that, “I’m trying to help you here”. It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant conversation, and who’d knew I’d actually get a bit of a hard time trying not to use the expedited line. I know she was trying to help, so I thanked her anyway and moved on.
Sure, it’d be faster if I can get it all sorted out, but I can get it all sorted out another time.
I have no qualms going through the regular lines.
It took just a little longer, but it was just fine.
For the most part, the TSA Pre-Check has worked out great for me. However, if you’re going to be flying somewhere, always check to make sure that your airline’s profile name matches your official name. You may be able to avoid issues like the one I experienced.
Have you run into issues where your TSA Pre-Check access isn’t printed on your boarding pass? What was the problem and how did you resolve the issue?