The TSA recently expanded Pre-Check to include more travelers in the program and while for many people it will mean less time spent in line and less hassles going through security, for passengers who have been using Pre-Check all along it will be just the opposite: more people means longer lines.
I’ve been enrolled in Pre-Check since the beginning and have become used to spending no more that five minutes going through security, and because of this I’ve started showing up to the airport 30 minutes before boarding.
I don’t use the world ‘Love’ lightly, but I love Pre-Check. Last week at La Guardia I went from cab to the Admirals Club in less that 10 minutes. That’s not unusual, most times, even with just 30 minutes to get to the gate, I still have time to stop by the Admirals Club to check email and grab a cup of coffee.
No more! This was the Pre-Check line this morning at DFW Terminal A:
Passengers were divded into two lines: General Boarding/No Priority/No Pre-Check in one line, and First Class/Priority AAcess/Pre-Check passengers in the other.
The TSA agents did a great job of going down the Priority AAcess line to explain how it works, but despite the instructions there was still a lot of confusion and questions from Pre-Check newbies and infrequent fliers
If you’re an AAdvantage Elite or someone who purchases Priority AAcess then adding so many Pre-Check folks to priority line sort of negates the value of Priority AAcess.
It took about 20 minutes to clear security. That’s something that we’ll probably have to get use to, I have a feeling that longer wait times are the new normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the TSA effort to speed up the security process by opening up Pre-Check to more passengers, but I wonder if there might not be a better way to do it.
Perhaps we need a Priority Access Pre-Check line.
Be warned, if you’re traveling and used to quickly clearing security with Pre-Check you might want to build some extra time into your schedule.