Delta adding TSA Pre-Check indicator to boarding passes

TSA Pre-Check (which offers expedited security screening for eligible passengers, whereby they don’t have to take off their shoes or take liquids or laptops out of their bags), along with Global Entry, are the two greatest improvements to the travel experience for the frequent flyer in the past couple of years, in my opinion.

That being said, Pre-Check can be a bit confusing and frustrating at times, since you can’t always bank on it. Even if you’ve registered for the Pre-Check program you’re not eligible with every itinerary. To keep things somewhat “random” you don’t always get access, which I’ve found to be the case about 10% of the time.

That’s why I’m happy to see this announcement from Delta today:

We’ve got some good news for you if you’ve already experienced TSA PreCheck. Starting today, we will become the first airline to print an indicator on kiosk-printed boarding passes to give you some advance notice if you’ve been selected for TSA PreCheck. On Thursday, April 19, we’ll add a similar indicator on OCI and mobile boarding passes. The indicators will be available at the start of the check-in window in all formats.

“TSA PRECHK” will appear immediately underneath the passenger name on printed boarding passes and for customers using mobile boarding passes the TSA PreCheck logo will appear at the top right corner above the barcode.

The TSA PreCheck indicator will appear on boarding passes throughout your itinerary whether the airport has TSA PreCheck or not so be sure to verify that the airport is a participating location.

Even though there have long been workarounds to figuring out whether or not you’re eligible for Pre-Check on a particular itinerary, it’s great to see Delta putting it on “paper.”

Here’s to hoping other carriers do the same!


  1. The drawback to this is that if on a particular day you do not qualify for PreCheck then TSA now has a visual cue to send you to the regular security line where it typically takes much longer.

  2. @FF Good it always drives me nuts for people who game the system and cut in front of the elite line by telling the TSA agent they are precheck.

  3. This is certainly a preferred method IMHO, compared to not knowing until I have my mobile BP scanned by TSA. It’s a shame though that I cannot plan for this on every trip, so I still have to schedule meetings and plan to be at the airport as if I’m going to transit TSA via the normal (slow) method. As is typical with every govt. operation, they have screwed this up as well…

    To add insult, I’m sure United will take at least a year or two to find a way to actually show ‘PreCheck’ on a boarding pass given the craptastic Shares software.

  4. @Mark- I just tried this on Thursday after getting denied in Orlando, and it did not work. Maybe the 2nd chance is as random as the PreCheck itself! Hopefully others will add more data points below for us.

    I personally think a PreCheck rejection should mean you still get to go to the front of the regular scanner line.

  5. @COSPILOT – Look for HackMyTrip “Staying Three Beeps Ahead…” blog. Problem solved.

    @Eric – Just to clarify, it did not work because you were also rejected by the GE scan (i.e. CLR vs LLL) -OR- they would not even consider the second chance? If so, maybe go right to trying with GE card before BP if you know ahead of time (see above HackMyTrip blog).

  6. I always use my Global Entry card as ID when going through precheck so if I don’t get the three beeps (which hasn’t happened since I got GE), the person there doesn’t think I am someone who just saw a short (or nonexistent) line and hopped in it, thus are more likely to let me go to front of general line.

    By the way, United is launching this feature later this month.

  7. Mark@palmerlaw, I’m aware of it, and when time permits I scan my BP. The problem is meetings are booked well in advance of 24hrs prior to departure.

  8. @Mark

    The GE card isn’t being used as a second chance in the story you linked. Having the physical GE card will have zero effect on you receiving expedited screening. The Military Frequent Flier is referring to his US DoD Common Access Card issued mostly to active duty military, which ARE physically scanned to verify validity. Those participating in PreCheck through other means are validated by boarding pass.

  9. This is great, and should really help speed up the pre-check lines. It’s irritating when I see parents with their kids clogging up the pre-check line, since one of the parents may have it and the kids don’t.
    And i like to cut things down to the wire, so this will help me know whether or not I need to arrive 45 minutes before my flight, or one hour before my flight.

  10. @Mark
    Gave this a go in February. The agent would not take the GE card at all. (On an AA tix using avios, always fails) She made me give her the BP. Will try again next month when travel picks up again. This was at ORD

  11. @UnitedEF: I agree with you regarding non-elites clogging up the lines. What I meant was on those days where I am “randomly” not selected to get PreCheck I hope I’m not sent back to regular screening.

  12. @BrewerSEA Sorry I didn’t clarify that it was in the comments by Stacey (aka “verygoodpoints”) who raised the PreCheck second chance use with GE in that post. Data points may prove no chance, but still getting bites. Uniformity may be any issue too, similar to reports of screeners not accepting GE card as “gov issued ID” when TSA expressly states it qualifies.

  13. @Brian – you’re allowed to take children under 12 with you in the Pre line, even if they aren’t Pre-qualified

  14. Lucky, you intimate that one can still figure out if a BP is PreCheck approved- how does one do this?

    While PreCheck is a wonderful amenity, it still doesn’t help for international travel, sadly. The one time I connected stateside I was still told it was an int’l ticket, therefore I wasn’t eligible.

  15. I wonder if this will show up on mobile boarding passes? I often never stop at the check-in counter to print a boarding pass these days.

    Also, one thing that has annoyed me is that the AA checkpoint at DCA gives me the beeps for preCheck, but they don’t have it there. I asked if they were ever going to get it, but they told me there’s no space because there’s only room for 5 lanes. I think that’s unacceptable, and they should make security even worse for all the non-elite, non-PreCheck passengers! 😛

  16. Really? I certainly hope so! Although, if I luck out and get a FC seat on LH, I’ll get walked to the front of the line regardless : ) I wonder if the ticket agent would know to escort me to the PreCheck desk?

    At least I now know how to determine my 3 beep status! Thanks for the link!

  17. freqflyercoll — The “TSA PRECHK” indicator is scheduled to appear on Delta’s mobile boarding passes starting Friday, 4/19.

  18. United appears to be following suit. When I updated the United app on my phone, the release notes stated that the mobile boarding pass has been ‘enhanced’ showing tsa precheck.

  19. Am I the only one who sees a security problem with a knowing ahead of time if you are pre-checked? If a person had bad intentions and knew ahead of time that they were pre- checked, it just seems like a risk. Someone help me understand this.

  20. @ Jeff Allen — But you’re assuming that the screening for Pre-Check passengers is more thorough than for others. As far as I’m concerned the Pre-Check lane simply takes a bit of the theater out of security, and that’s it.

    What do you think you could sneak through the Pre-Check lane that you couldn’t sneak through the other lane?

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