TSA PreCheck expanding next year: You should not be using PreCheck if…

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As TSA PreCheck expands more and more next year we, that is those who have had it for a while and know the system, are running into more and more travelers who just don’t have a clue what is going on. There are the same ones who don’t have clue in the normal security lines, but they take forever anyway so not that big a deal. It is a big deal in the “fast line”.

So, along the lines of Jeff Foxworthy’s bit about, “You might be a redneck if”, I have my own list that seems to keep growing and you can feel free to add ones YOU HAVE SEEN for yourself in the comments below.

Thus, “You should not be using PreCheck if…”

  • You leave your cell phone in your pocket.
  • You hold your hands above your head when you walk through the metal detector.
  • You constantly bump the sides of the metal detector when walking through.
  • You forget you are still wearing your backpack.
  • You take your laptop out of your bag looking for a “big tray”.
  • You have a WWF large metal belt buckle.
  • You have to ask what “those 3 beeps mean”.
  • You have enough metal in your shoes / boots to make a 29 Chevy.
  • You try to walk through with a metal thermos full of soup.
  • Not anti-family here, but 12 bags, stroller & baby maybe not best suited for PreCheck.
  • You forget you have a 1 liter water bottle in your bag.
  • You happen to leave your loaded firearm in your bag.
  • You have a 5 min conversation with TSA about PreCheck rather than just using it.
  • You reassemble yourself blocking the belt and others when exiting.

And really I could go on and on and on but it will be more fun for you to share. So tell me, what have you personally seen in the TSA PreCheck line that makes your head almost literally explode while waiting to breeze through security? – René


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  1. I swear some people must really live under a rock.

    I live by the rules from “Up In The Air” approach on going through security. Getting behind the right people is key!
    I loathe flying from SLC as it’s a baby factory there and the amount of strollers going through should require a separate line all together.

  2. A few months back on return from Seoul I almost walked through the metal detector at EWR with my backpack on, but caught myself at the last second.

  3. Father is Pre-check, family isn’t yet they all follow dad. 10min explanation/argument with tsa agent about why they can’t follow dad.

  4. The purpose of pre-check is not to make things faster for us (it’s not a fast lane – for that you should buy “clear”. It’s to make the checkpoints easier for everyone who doesn’t pose a threat. All the rules about taking out your laptop and your liquids and your shoes off are completely useless anyway, so I expect that pre-check will eventually cover most travelers. It’s a way to undo the stupid security regulations without repealing them. It’s also a way to get away with racial/religious profiling without getting sued.
    So it won’t be the fast lane anymore, it’ll be more like the security lanes in the 90s. Not fast, but not all that slow, either.
    Overall, it’s a good development though and the line is still faster. It doesn’t have body scanners either.

  5. If there really isn’t precheck and you must take laptop out and belt off anyway but to make you feel better you may hold this special piece Of Paper wHile you go through screening.

    Silliness. Don’t expand more if they are going to be more PartialCheck. Rather just know what to expect. Oh and definitely advantageous with a infant bottles get way less hassle if looked at at all

  6. @dennisg I believe kids under 12 are eligible for Precheck if accompanying an eligible parent.

  7. I saw an entire flight crew of absolutely gorgeous Swedish flight attendants all removing their shoes and lap tops. I tried to explain but…….. They wore blue with jaunty caps and had legs up to there.

  8. Usually I’d agree with you about the family thing, but if you’re prepared families can get through faster than some slower flyers. Me, my wife, and my toddler are usually on the belt with our stroller and bags and through security in less than a minute or two. You just have to find the right stroller. Now if somebody is trying to bring one of those giant jogging strollers through security they deserve to be in the “other” lines 😉

  9. To confirm: Children 12 and under can go through precheck with parent. I traveled last week with my 12 year old and was told yes and allowed to take him through. My 14 year old went regular through security.

  10. I concur but it’s important to be patient. We’re all human. I’m a road warrior who will achieve Delta Diamond by month’s end and forgot a 24-ounce Dasani bottle in my bag on my previous trip. Needless to say, it was in a hurry.

  11. And, Eric…it sure doesn’t help if the six pieces of metal jewelry are body piercings! 🙂

  12. I was told by a TSA rep, that an unclasped necklace or bracelet (so it doesn’t make a contacted loop of metal) will not set off alarm. I forgot to test this theory on my last trip. Anyone else found this to be true?

  13. @Cheryl – my wife has a gold bracket that does not come off. She d puts hands out in front of her (like praying) in middle and walks through and 99% of time works fine.

  14. My home airport of MCO is a yearlong jam up of families with small children. Giant jogging strollers are common to see in the precheck line, as are Mickey Mouse balloons. My favorite part is when a family backs up the precheck line because they are told at the belt that they don’t need to remove shoes, liquids, etc., and they take another five minutes to put everything back. I have reverted to the regular line about half the time because it’s less crowded than precheck and the people are less confused.

  15. Most jewelry of any kind will not set off the detectors. I wear my stainless steel watch through every week and it never sets off the detectors.

  16. Talking on their cell phone and not preparing to go through security don’t even know where their boarding pass is!

  17. Most memorable was my early morning experience in the Dallas airport Precheck when some yo yo drawled to a Hispanic American TSA agent that “you need to learn to speak English…this is the United States”
    Had they not been boarding my flight I would have loved to have hung around to witness the cavity check!

  18. You shouldn’t be using Pre-Check if..You have no idea what it is. “What is this new fancy lane?”
    At 430am on Monday morning I got behind a nice little old lady in Pre-check who I had to help lift her bag onto the security belt because it was heavier than her and yet she immediately started taking off her shoes and disrobing. Easy there tiger! It took two shouts for her to hear me and the TSA agent telling her to keep her shoes and cardi on. I love you lady but please call a wheelchair and make things easier for YOU and me.

  19. Sonya, you win. And, God help us if my mother ever flies again much less gets pre-check. She’d be that same little old lady and I’d be the one shouting at her – I don’t care how many times I tell her what to expect in any security line!

  20. I think TSA is using PreCheck as a revenue stream. So many people are using it now, that often it is NOT faster to go through that line. In ATL (where we live), on two successive trips, it took me about 15 minutes to get through PreCheck. My partner who is not PreCheck, but SkyPriority, beat me through security on the first of these occasions by using SkyPriority, and tied me on the second. This is unacceptable, but who do you complain to?

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