I cannot remember the last time I did not receive TSA PreCheck on my boarding pass when flying on a participating airline. I’ve had Global Entry (and the associated Known Traveler Number) for 5+ years and even received it prior to that thanks to airline elite status. So I was terribly confused last Friday when I checked in for a flight to California and the boarding pass did not show the notation. Flabbergasted, even. And so I did what anyone does about small and random “injustices” these days: Posted it on Twitter.
— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) September 22, 2017
I assumed that was the end of it. I’d leave a few minutes earlier and deal with the shame of taking off my shoes to get through security. I find it stupid and ridiculous but I generally have better windmills to tilt at. And then something amazing happened. The TSA replied.
Pls use the link below to DM your full name, KTN & airline confirmation number. We'll gladly look into this for you. https://t.co/wLxp0Wphg9
— AskTSA (@AskTSA) September 22, 2017
I sent in the requested info and about 90 minutes later got a reply:
Thanks for your patience. Our records show that you didn’t get TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass because your day of birth was entered into your reservation as the 11th and your day of birth in your trusted traveler profile is the 12th. Please reach out to your airline to update your reservations. Once this is done, please reprint your boarding pass or refresh your mobile app.
The TSA was able to look at my record and identify the data mismatch.
I was skeptical given that I book flights using a saved traveler profile and I’ve not touched said profile in a long time. I even confirmed with JetBlue that the profile still showed the correct birth date inside and shared that with the TSA twitter team. They noted that “Although your frequent flier account shows the correct date of birth, it may not automatically populate or transfer properly to your reservations.” Figuring there was not much else to do at this point (the JetBlue folks I reached out to didn’t see the issue) I headed to the airport on Saturday morning with enough time to stand in line. But also with a plan.
I stopped by the counter rather than just heading to the security line and asked the rep there to double-check the details. I saw a wry smile creep across the face of one of the two I was chatting with and I knew that things were about to get better. Indeed, the reservation had the wrong birthday on it. As soon as she fixed that a paper boarding pass spit out with the TSA PRE CHCEK notation and my mobile BP updated immediately, too. It actually worked.
Passing through security was still ~13 minutes – JFK T5 is often a zoo for the morning departure bank, especially on a Saturday with the Caribbean flights – but it was way better than going through the regular process.
Still no idea how the data got hosed up moving across the systems, but I was able to engage with the TSA team and figure out what was going on. It wasn’t random exclusion nor an undoing of my access. Just a quirk in data entry or transfer that got in the way. And, thankfully, an easy fix.
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