Next time you get to the airport and see a long line at security, don't panic. Instead, keep your shoes on and your laptop packed, because active-duty service members are eligible for expedited screening benefits through the TSA Precheck Program. You can board your flight quicker with TSA Precheck at more than 115 airports nationwide — and you don't even have to be in uniform.
What are the benefits of the TSA Precheck Program?
Thanks to the expedited screening process, program members don't have to remove the following:
- A 3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on baggage
- Laptop from its bag
- Light outerwear
How can I use my TSA Precheck benefits?
- Use the Defense Travel System to book your flights when on official travel. Vacation flights can be booked through any airline or travel site.
- Enter your Department of Defense ID number (the 10-digit number on the back of your common access card) when asked for your "known traveler number."
- Save your Department of Defense ID number in your Defense Travel System profile to make sure you're always signed up for the program when on official travel.
- Keep in mind if you're booking your flight through a commercial travel office, they are not required to ask for your known traveler number. Be ready to provide the number on your own.
Your TSA Precheck eligibility information will be embedded in the barcode on your boarding pass. Some airlines print a Precheck-approved indicator on your pass.
The bottom line: you can check your eligibility at a dedicated security lane as long as you entered your Department of Defense ID number as your known traveler number when you made your reservation.
What else do I need to know?
- Your family members younger than age 12 can also pass through expedited screening if they're flying with you.
- Expedited boarding isn't a guarantee — TSA always reserves the right to incorporate random security measures to ensure passenger safety.