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TSA precheck

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by morecowbells, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    Yes, but I was referring to the request I sent to GCM airport's customer service director that they "consider making arrangements with the US to accept TSA pre-check status" at their airport security.
     
  2. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
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    Nor are the TSA pre-check lines always open. I leave out of Indianapolis, a top rated medium sized airport, recognized as getting passengers through security (TSA lines included) quickly, and have left at times so early that the TSA pre-check lines were closed!!! Of course it was so early the regular lines were easy to go through. But when the pre-check is open, it's a breeze to go through. My luck at other airports in the U.S. where we have had to go back through security when returning home during "normal" hours, the TSA lines have been closed or only open at locations not near us..
     
  3. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

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    TSA pre check can be faster, slower or even the same line. We were once given small yellow plastic cards that we held up to signify that we did not have to take our shoes off... Same line as everyone else, just different treatment. We did have to give the yellow cards back.

    And pre check on your boarding pass can be random. More than once I have travelled in a group where people with no clearance were issued precheck boarding passes.
     
  4. jonhall

    jonhall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
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    How quickly I forget. Just last week we flew home from Rapid City, SD and that was the case. Still had to remove my iPad and my wife had to remove her CPAP, but they gave us a card of some type and had us walk through a different scanner (right beside the one everyone else was going through). Then we handed back the card and retrieved our carryons from the conveyor.

    Had that happen many times years ago with my wife and I before we actually went through the process of getting TSA pre-check and then Global Entry. We figured it was a way to entice you to get it.
     
  5. Steelyeyes

    Steelyeyes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Redmond Wa
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    Luddites!
     
  6. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    I might be totally off the mark but my understanding is that it was an agreement between governments not airports in those places where Certain US people can clear US Immigration before leaving the foreign country they are in. I may have lost my mind but thought that we have done that through certain terminals in Heathrow. It may well have been a pilot program but when we went through the Trusted Traveler, we also did US Immigration. It would not however help you with pre-check on their end although at the handful of European airports we have been through in the last five years (Heathrow, Manchester, Dublin, Shannon, Paris, Venice and Brussels), (Most easy and efficient airport so far was Harida, most strict may have been Frankfurt). The security lines have been fast and efficient. TSA are the enforcers. Carriers or local airport authorities cannot dictate what they would like to put in place to the US government or any of its entities anymore than they can dictate who can use Trusted Traveler in the UK etc. And if the line isn’t open or not there at US airports it isn’t happening as mentioned. Notice in this link from the UK it says UK Government has ... it is not something under the control of airports anywhere to the best of my knowledge.
    Immigration and passports | UK border control | Heathrow
    I fully realize this is about arriving passengers however rules about crossing international borders are controlled by governments. Just used this to illustrate.
     
  7. Alucard

    Alucard Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Upstate New York, USA
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    OK, lots of terms being thrown around here, and it seems confusing as to what applies when. So here goes my understanding, in the hope it clarifies. (skip to the end if you don't want the details).

    There are three facets of travel that different programs cover - security prior to boarding, immigration when arriving in a country (are you allowed in?) and customs (are you allowed to bring in what you are bringing with you). I am going to restrict this discussion to flying - not land border crossings

    The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is a US operation, run by the U.S. Government - it deals with security checks for passengers. It is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It does not exist outside of the USA (although other countries will have their own agencies doing a similar function, of course).

    TSA Pre-check is a stand-alone program that on its own costs $85 for 5 years. When you apply, the TSA does a background check on you and, if you pass, you are in - you get a so-called "Known Traveler Number". When you enter this into your ticket when you buy it, for US Airlines and some others, this pretty much (but not completely) guarantees that you will get that "TSA Pre" text on your boarding pass so that when you check in to a U.S. Airport (not those in a foreign country) you can go through the expedited security lanes, if they are open. However, it is not guaranteed - they may randomly not give you this, to make you go through the regular security. TSA Precheck is currently available at 200 airports and with around 75 carriers. For it to kick in, you would need to be going through an airport where it is available and flying an airline that is one of the listed carriers. See the current list at: TSA Pre✓® Airports and Airlines

    TSA Pre-Check is for leaving the USA, nowhere else.

    Some credit cards and loyalty programs carry a benefit of covering the application fee in some way. See here for a current list: Credit Cards and Loyalty Programs featuring TSA Pre✓®

    There are other ways of getting the Known Traveler number, as below.

    Global Entry is a program offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It allows pre-approved, low-risk passengers to go through expedited clearance (immigration and customs) on arrival in the U.S. It does not cover arrival in any other airport. It is available at 54 airports. The fee for an application is $100. The approval is good for 5 years. Only nationals of certain countries can apply for Global Entry (see International Arrangements | U.S. Customs and Border Protection). In some cases (sometimes random, sometimes not) even with Global Entry approved and at an airport where kiosks are offered, you may have to go through full immigration and customs checks. Being approved for Global Entry also approves you for TSA Pre-check availability.

    Pre-clearance - some airports not in the US provide customs and immigration pre-clearance. They do this by stationing permanently members of the U.S. Customs and Border protection at those airports, operated by the U.S. government. Some of these pre-clearance airports also have Global Entry kiosks. There are currently 15 pre-clearance airports, listed here: Preclearance Locations | U.S. Customs and Border Protection - all passengers on a flight need to get the pre-clearance, as there will be no checks on arrival to the U.S. There is no extra cost to the passenger for this.

    For a list of airports with Global Entry kiosks, see this link: Airports with Global Entry Kiosks | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Global Entry, therefore, is for arriving into the US, nowhere else.


    NEXUS - is a joint program by Canada and the USA (so it's not just a Canadian thing). It is used for entry into Canada, and into the US (whether coming from Canada or not) - passengers entering the US will use the Global Entry kiosks. An application requires a security check from both US and Canadian authorities. The only people that can apply for it are citizens or permanent residents of Canada or the United States or citizens of Mexico that hold a Viajero Confiable membership. The application fee is $50. It is valid for 5 years. So Nexus gives you Global Entry and TSA Pre-check.


    Mobile Passport - this is an app for your phone, available for Apple and Android devices. You install the app, enter in your passport information, then, when you land in the US you enter in your information (photo, flight info, customs information) - you get an electronic receipt with a QR code on it. You then go through a special lane with this receipt and your passport and go through immigration and customs. It is free, but does not give you TSA Pre-check. It is also only available in some airports. For a list of airports, see: Mobile Passport Control | U.S. Customs and Border Protection - again, this is a US-only program.

    For Cayman travelers, the notable absence from this list is Charlotte (CLT). Philadelphia (PHL) is also missing, but Miami is in the list.

    Clear is a registered traveler program. The information is collected by a private company in partnership with the TSA. An applicant provides personal information and biometrics to the company, which then works with the TSA to do a background check. Once approved you get a card. It is only available to US citizens and legal permanent residents 18 and older.

    Clear does not give you TSA Pre-check or Global Entry. You just jump to the front of the lines in places it is available - for that list see here: https://www.clearme.com/where-we-are (Miami is in, Philly and Charlotte not).

    Annual member fee is $179, for the first member of the family, and $50 per year for additional family members.

    The initial Clear company went bankrupt, and has restarted under a different company.

    -----------------------------

    tl;dr version:

    So none of this really helps anything going on in Cayman airports, whether arrival or departure. It does help on re-entry to the USA, or if you have a split itinerary where you have to take your bags land-side in the USA and recheck them, and have to go through security again.

    If you use an entry airport that can take the mobile passport app that is probably going to work well for you, and it's free, but it doesn't give you TSA Pre-check, which may be an issue for you. So paying the $85 for 5 years just for that might be worth it.

    After that NEXUS is by far the cheapest, and it gives you Global Entry and TSA Pre, but you need to be able to get to a location for an interview, and you may not live close to one of those. Next best is Global Entry. Clear, to me, just isn't worth the cost for the amount of flying I do.
     
  8. RogueClimber

    RogueClimber ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Honolulu
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    Great summary @Alucard

    Only clarifier I would add is TSA Pre-Check is not only "TSA Pre-Check is for leaving the USA, nowhere else." It is for departing flights, within or leaving the US
     
    Alucard, Damselfish and KathyV like this.
  9. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    Thank you. I didn’t mean to muddy the waters (or air), just to point out all of the programs are done at a governmental level and individual airport/airline authorities cannot just ask to be in any given program. The host government holds the rights to include if they deem it is warranted.
     
  10. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
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    The first hit is always free.
     
    jonhall likes this.

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