Anyone who is on the same itenerary as a person with TSA Precheck will also be awarded TSA Precheck

Steve Aug 16 2018, 9:01PM

TLDR:  This seems like a strange feature of TSA Precheck.  Anyone who is on the same itenerary as a person with TSA Precheck will also be awarded TSA Precheck status on their boarding passes-- no background check or other verification required.

Details:  On a recent business trip with a co-worker I noticed that both of us had TSA Precheck status on our airline boarding passes despite only one of us actually having been enrolled in the program.  We both got access to the reduced scrutiny TSA Precheck line.

Once I got home I contacted United through their bug bounty program (they issued the boarding passes) and they replied in a timely manner with:   

"Thanks for contacting us. It is actually supposed to work this way. Family members and/or companions who are travelling on the same itinerary (with the same confirmation number) should also receive TSA precheck. Additionally, this is actually determined by TSA, not United Airlines. 

Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Best regards,
United Bug Bounty Program"

Others have noticed this, but it seems to vary somewhat by airline.  I have heard of this happening on the big airlines (United, American, Delta) and I can personally vouch that this was how it worked for United when I travelled last week.

Enrolling in TSA Precheck requires a physical visit to an office, a background check and fingerprinting.  It seems strange to allow companions of TSA Precheck travellers to skip all this and get access to the TSA Precheck lines.

Comments 6

Steve said... "The only difference between Precheck and regular is the smaller queue, shoes on, and computer. The scanners are virtually the same, there is no “security flaw” in this sense. Not blog post worthy. "

Aug 16 2018, 11:13PM

Daylen said... "Very interesting, I did not know that. Here in Canada, it is only applied if your travel companion is under the age of 18."

Aug 16 2018, 11:14PM

Pete said... "I brought my housemate through Precheck and when that seemed to go well, she got in the NEXUS line with me, too. When we got to the TSA agent, she seemed genuinely furious and threatened to take my card away. She put a strike on my profile and informed me that there would not be a strike two. The whole experience really pissed me off, because the process and the rules around it are entirely opaque. The security guard at the screening literally told me to bring my friend through the rush line - waved them over - but nobody offered any explanation that a simple misunderstanding could lead to being torn a new one by some glorified bridge troll."

Aug 16 2018, 11:31PM

empty said... "It doesn't seem strange if you realize it's security theater."

Aug 17 2018, 12:10AM

Chad said... "The same thing happened to me (with Delta). I booked a ticket for myself and two co-workers and all three of us got Precheck even though I was the only one enrolled. One of them isn't a US citizen, and therefore isn't even eligible to apply for Precheck directly."

Aug 17 2018, 3:12AM

Bob said... "Neither my wife nor I have enrolled in TSA PreCheck, but we both get it at random intervals. And we've both had the experience of not receiving it when the other one booked the itinerary."

Aug 17 2018, 3:39AM