Trading Points for PreCheck

Alaska Airlines is offering its MileagePlan members the ability to pay for TSA PreCheck with their points. The new offer, available through the end of April 2016, allows members to pay 10,000 points in exchange for a voucher code to cover the $85 enrollment fee for the expedited security screening program.

“TSA Precheck is a game-changer for those of us who travel frequently for work or pleasure,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s vice president of marketing. “This partnership between Mileage Plan and the TSA will allow more of our customers to take the guesswork out of the day of travel.”

How to redeem:

  1. Email by April 30, 2016 with your name and Mileage Plan number.
  2. Within 72 hours, Alaska will deduct 10,000 miles from your account and send you an email with your authorization code.
  3. Apply for TSA Precheck and schedule your screening appointment. Customers applying are responsible for ensuring they are Precheck-eligible.

Be sure to take along your printed email and proof of citizenship status. The authorization code in the email will cover the application fee at your TSA Precheck screening appointment.

The company notes that it is the first to offer redemption of points for the benefit but it is not the first to offer access to this type of benefit for members of its frequent flyer program. United Airlines takes the prize on that front, previously offering top tier elites a similar voucher for free, though that version was for Global Entry, a step above the PreCheck offering.

Definitely nice to have the flexibility on getting the new option from the company, though I still think Global Entry is the smarter play. And, given the debacle that TSA lines at SEATAC are these days, well, getting the expedited access is a very, very good idea.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Was at SEATAC last week. They hired a guy to stand there with a tall sign saying “THE LINE BEGINS HERE” or some such phrase. I could not see this fellow, even halfway down the line.

    I smell a system designed to “encourage” citizens to sign up for PreCheck. My PreCheck line consisted of 5 travelers and 6 surly TSA agents.

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