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Delta Medallions – expect MUCH less “free” elite TSA Pre✓® starting in April!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


tsa pre check

For quite a while now Delta elite medallion travelers have been enjoying the perks of TSA Pre✓® on a regular basis. But that will be changing next month. According to Delta.com we see that:

“Beginning April 7, 2015, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing changes to TSA Pre✓®. If you’re not currently a member of a Trusted Traveler Program such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or the TSA Pre✓® program, you’ll likely notice a decrease in the number of times you are selected for expedited screening.

This is due to an increase in the number of passengers who are eligible, as well as an increase in the number of passengers who pay to participate in Trusted Traveler Programs. With the current participating population, the TSA does not have immediate plans to expand the number of TSA Pre✓® lanes.

If you’re interested in receiving TSA Pre✓® on a regular basis, consider registering for a Trusted Traveler Program at www.dhs.gov/tt. And if you already have a Known Traveler Number, be sure to log in at delta.com and add it to “My Profile.” – Delta.com

Now once you have used TSA Pre✓® you never EVER want to go back to the old way of clearing security (or at least I don’t ever want to do so). So you need you own Known Traveler Number or KTN. Once you have it you enter it in My Profile on Delta.com or on your Fly Delta APP works just fine too.

So how do you get it? The best way, IMO, is to get Global Entry that also includes TSA Pre✓® and costs just $100 and is good for 5 years. $20 a year for this is truly a tremendous travel value even if you only use it a few times a year. Even better is to first get a non-Delta:

Or

as if you pay for your Global Entry fee with either of these cards you can get the $100 fee credited back to you and get it basically free as a perk of being a card member.
The other perk of having your OWN KTN is that when you fly another airline other than Delta you can still enter in your KTN for TSA Pre✓®.

You may say all you need is TSA Pre✓® but for a few bucks more having Global Entry is so worth it. Each time I enter the USA I am stunned how quickly you can proceed through customs. It is simply worth it’s weight in GOLD. – René
.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

18 Comments

  1. Santastico Reply

    Have had Global Entry for the last 3 years and it is the best investment one can make if you travel internationally. I flew through JFK 4 times this year and the immigration process did not take more than 30 seconds. As for TSA Pre there are times their lines are longer than on the regular lines. The only advantage is that you don’t need to take your shoes off and computer out of the bag. But in my opinion they oversold the service and did not invest in a decent infrastructure to deal with all the people registered in the program.

  2. TexasYankee Reply

    HOOORAYYY!!!!!!! You cannot inagine how I enjoyed spending the time and money for an in depth back ground check so that I could wait in line with all these people with no clue to go through TSA Pre because the airlines added them to the list. Yes, first time fliers and all those kids – outstanding! Also many times the non TSA pre lines went faster than the TSA Pre line! This is actually good news and I hope Delta is telling the truth and not using this news as a smoescreen to hide another way they have gigged us.

  3. Love it. Less people to back the line up. Your Trusted Traveler number is the best thing since sliced bread. I have both our numbers in every airline profile we fly on and we always get TSA Pre check.

  4. +one fly’s Southwest more than Delta. Somehow she got pre-check with SW without ever signing up with TSA. More airlines must be involved than just Delta. We both now have global entry and enjoy the quick process – especially when returning from abroad. As you say worth it.

  5. TexasYankee, most of those with no clue were not selected by the airlines but the TSA themselves. I spent 3 years as a Delta Gold or higher and never got pre-check when flying Delta.

    All of my PreChecks had me randomly directed into the lane by TSA when I showed up at the checkpoint.

  6. Awesome as long as it cuts down on the lines for TSA Pre✓. I might miss coaching the people who shouldn’t be in the line and don’t know what to do but I’ll get over it 😉

  7. MaineBigDaddy Reply

    Thank goodness!! Less Kettles trying to take off their shoes and emptying their bags!! Have had Global Entry for 3 years and the Amex Plat, a no brainer!!!

  8. This needed to change badly. Leaving ATL this past Friday the Precheck line in the South Terminal was out of control while the Sky Priority line had no one in it. So I went under the barrier and used that since I am Sky anyway. Yes I had to take off my shoes and laptop out my bag but it was ten times faster than the Pre-check line. They need to make everyone pay to have the program and explain to them how it works to speed things up. They also need to have more lines now that it is so much larger these days. Today at JFK pre-check just meant that you got to get in front of everyone else in a slightly shorter line which everyone else was getting into eventually. It made no sense. Global Entry is surely the way to go for the extra $20 it is the best thing to have after a long international flight.

  9. After 1.1 million miles and TSA pre check since the beginning, NOW I have to pay the Feds for access to the same service?

    Just WRONG!!!

  10. About time. I spent the money and time to go thought the GE process when Pre-Check first came out. The first 6-9 months of pre-check were incredable… I almost felt guility going through the security line so fast (almost).

    But then I noticed more and more people and most importantly, very clueless, treating it just like the regular line. and the TSA people constantly telling them to leave their shoes and belts on, etc. Then I asked a TSA agent if they were not telling people about that during the app processs any more and he told me about the random selections. Insane that I paid $100 and a few hours to do the process, interview, etc….and they just start giving it away as more “feel good”..everyone gets a trophy nonsense.

    Pay to play.

  11. Thanks for the heads up on this change. I will now have to get Global Entry to keep my TSA Pre. With the automated immigration machines at major US gateways GE was not a big advantage. I hope this change won’t cause an avalanche of new GEers and overwhelm this system the way TSA Pre became overwhelmed.

  12. Amen, Dr. John! But, Rene, if I’ve been pre check approved by delta does that mean I have a pre check number? If so, how do I find that number? Or do I only have a number if I’ve paid for it?

    • @Sarah – Only if you pay for it (you do not have one right now – the point of the post). You will get much less or ZERO after 7APRIL. Time to upgrade. I would get a non-Delta AMEX PLATINUM card and let them pay for it for you!

  13. Renee,
    Returning from BNE into LAX my wife and I were booted from the TSA precheck line because it was not printed on our boarding pass. We used the Global Entry card for identification, but the TSA woman said it wasn’t printed on the Boarding Pass so back out and get in the regular line. We did, but I was po’d; ignorant, power hungry feminazi!!
    Amenity kits need an address in SB.

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  15. Nexus is the cheapest way to go, $50 total for 5 years and also gives you Pre-check and Global Entry at no additional cost. Though you have to get on the massive waiting list to speak with both US and Canadian agents, so expect a 6-12 month wait (and you’ll want to live near the US-Canadian border).

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