Lufthansa Becomes First European Airline To Join TSA Pre-Check

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The two innovations of the past several years that have made the US travel experience substantially more pleasant have been TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry. As a reminder, TSA Pre-Check allows eligible travelers expedited security screening, where they don’t have to take off their shoes, or take their liquids or laptops out of their bags.

TSA-Pre-Check

Meanwhile Global Entry allows for expedited customs & immigration, where eligible travelers can just use kiosks at immigration, rather than having to queue for an agent.

Global-Entry

While Global Entry is valid regardless of which airline you’re flying, TSA Pre-Check requires flying certain airlines that are enrolled in the program.

A few months back we saw some international airlines join TSA Pre-Check, including Aeromexico and Etihad Airways. Well, the great news is that a European airline has now joined the TSA Pre-Check program for the first time. Lufthansa just became the 18th airline to offer TSA Pre-Check, and the first European airline to do so.

Lufthansa-First-Class-9

It’s awesome to see Lufthansa being added to the program, as it means eligible passengers will be able to enjoy expedited security screening when flying Lufthansa now. Personally I haven’t found the security screening process in Frankfurt to be too bad, at least in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. 😉

Lufthansa-FCT

To be sure you’re eligible, just enter your Known Traveler Number in your reservation before checking in.

Lufthansa-TSA-Pre-Check

Keep in mind that while you can pay to register for TSA Pre-Check directly, you’re much better off registering for Global Entry, as it also comes with TSA Pre-Check (TSA Pre-Check, on the other hand, doesn’t come with Global Entry).

I registered for Global Entry for the first time in mid-2011, and wrote about my experience at the time. Global Entry is valid for five years, and I just renewed my membership a few months ago.

Several credit cards offer Global Entry fee credits, where they’ll reimburse you for the $100 fee to join Global Entry. These cards include the following:

Citi-Prestige-Global-Entry-Credit

The very best way to get TSA Pre-Check is through NEXUS, which costs just $50 and gets you expedited immigration in the US and Canada, Global Entry, and TSA Pre-Check. You pay half the price and get the most privileges. But that’s not as practical for everyone, since there aren’t as many centers where you can enroll for NEXUS, since it’s primarily intended for those traveling frequently between the US and Canada.

Here’s to hoping that TSA Pre-Check expands to even more airlines, especially international ones. TSA obviously wants as many passengers as possible using these lanes, so that they can justify the Pre-Check program and move people along as quickly as possible. The biggest barrier is getting people to actually sign up for the program, so hopefully adding more airlines helps with that goal.

In the meantime I’ll certainly enjoy the security process being easier in the US before my next Lufthansa flight.

(Tip of the hat to USA Today)


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Comments

  1. Lucky, care to explain how this will help you given that TBIT @ LAX does not have a Precheck line? Are you really going to go through security at T5 and walk all the way back?

  2. @ Geo King — First of all, I doubt I’d be flying Lufthansa first class out of LAX, given that award space in first class is very tough to come by. But if there were first class award space, I’d just clear at T4 and take the connector to TBIT. It only takes about five minutes, and is worth avoiding the hassle of TBIT security.

  3. @Geo King — Two lucky flyers here who have LH First Class LAX-FRA awards (en route to VCE) for October…who absolutely will check in at T4 with Pre and then walk over to TBIT using the connector. Anything to avoid the nightmare of TBIT security, indeed. Thanks LH!

  4. Are you able to add your KTN to your Lufthansa account profile yet? I don’t see the option anywhere on lufthansa.com or milesandmore.com.

  5. Any plans to add a Pre-Check line at Terminal 1 at JFK. There are enough LH flights out of that terminal to justify it, in the evenings, at least.

  6. Checked into Lufthansa Flight today leaving from IAD. Included known traveler number in reservation. Did not get precheck on boarding pass.

  7. The opening joke above is very slightly misleading.

    Nobody gets TSA Pre Check when flying from a foreign airport back into the USA: there are no Pre Check lines, obviously, in places like CDG and FRA.

    On the other hand, many of TSA’s more obnoxious rules — I’m thinking of the liquids-out and shoes-off mandates — often don’t apply abroad anyway.

    I can’t remember if the situation is any different where there’s US customs clearance abroad (e.g., at the larger Canadian airports), but I don’t think so.

  8. FYI on Nexus – there are now interviews available in DC. Rumor is it will be regular, although they have the entire last week go September available presently.

  9. Fantastic news. LH is my go-to airline for EU bound trips.

    TSA Pre-check would allow me to side-step the security theater requirements in US Airports during departure. Removing liquids from bag – I might be able to put up with it though I still think it is nonsensical and doesnt lead to any better security. The more important issue that bugs me is, when would US start realizing that how unhygenic is it to ask someone to remove shoes in the airport and walk on the airport floor without it, and and also put the shoes into the same storage tray that is intended for all your other stuff?

    *OCD*

    I still recall witnessing an incident in Narita Airport, where the airport staff looks absolutely horrified and quickly yanked the tray away when a passenger (presumably American) remove shoes and wanted to put it into it. I had to stifle a chuckle. Japanese airport has a slipper for you to wear if you are ever asked to remove shoes – which is very rare, unless you trigger the security alarm for no other reasons like belt or watch etc.

    When returning from foreign airports, I am always not bothered as foreign airports dont have the same crazy requirements as US airports, with the exception of Canada airports who pretty much follow US rules (whether by voluntary initiative or coerced by US, I dont know).

  10. Lucky are you saying you would check in at TBIT and then walk to T4 go through security and then take the connector back to TBIT?

  11. I’m still surprised that Pre-Check is handled purely by airline reservations rather than on-site (like Global Entry). Even with that limitation, I’m surprised the system isn’t able to recognize people by name + DOB. Which begs the question, if TSA can’t identify Trusted Travelers without their ID #s, how could they possibly ever notice a potential bad guy?

    # of terrorists stopped / caught by TSA since 9/11: 0.

  12. Similar point to Geo King, this seems sort of unhelpful in airports where Lufthansa operates out of terminals in the US where there was previously no need for PreCheck facilities. In addition to LAX, at JFK it would be the only PreCheck eligible airline, and at Newark, even thought DL flies out of Terminal B, I have almost never seen the PreCheck line open there. It’s almost always “PreCheck Lite” where you just get to keep your shoes on, but otherwise, you are in the normal line and everything else is the same.

  13. Well, we checked in for our LAX-FRA LH F flights tomorrow…and there is no TSA Precheck designations whatsoever, despite having added our GES numbers. Guess they have some kinks to work out…or cannot use it when they operate out of terminals without TSA Pre. Damn.

    On the other hand, we are flying LAX-FRA-VCE on LH F and J on award tickets. Not too shabby.

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