TSA PreCheck was introduced a while back, and at the time I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It certainly revolutionized the airport experience for the road warrior at the time — you got access to a special lane, could leave your laptop and liquids in your bag, and could leave your shoes on.
And all of that is still the case, the only issue is that the “honeymoon” phase has worn off. Everyone and their dog now has access to PreCheck, which leads to two problems:
- If you’re traveling during “road warrior” hours at a major airport, the PreCheck queue is often the longest at the airport
- Nowadays lots of people that don’t understand how PreCheck works have access to the queue, which slows it down considerably as they try to take off their shoes, remove everything from their bags, etc.
It’s still useful, just not what it once was. I always do find it mildly amusing how on a Monday mornings at major airports eligible PreCheck passengers will walk to the front of the PreCheck line and bitch endlessly about how everyone else has PreCheck as well… much like I’m doing here. 😉
Originally TSA PreCheck was only valid for domestic itineraries, and then around May of last year it became valid for international itineraries. Even so, it continued to only remain valid for travel on US airlines.
The Associated Press published an article today about how TSA PreCheck is now expanding to international airlines. Air Canada today became the first airline to participate, with others expected to follow soon. Apparently in order to participate, airlines need to update their computer systems so that they can add extra information to barcodes and also add the PreCheck logo.
I certainly have friends that have purchased a refundable domestic ticket just to get through security with PreCheck when flying an international carrier, and then refunded the ticket once past security. Guess that won’t be necessary for them anymore!