TSA Pre-Check now valid for international itineraries

As I’ve mentioned in the past, TSA Pre-Check is one of the few good things to come from the TSA in… well, ever. Basically it gives “trusted travelers” (select airline frequent flyers and Global Entry members) access to pre-9/11 style security (minus the liquids ban), where they don’t have to take off their shoes, and where they can leave their laptops in their bag, etc. It’s awesome and really makes the airport experience a bit less miserable for road warriors.

Up until now it has only been valid for domestic itineraries, though starting for travel today it will also officially be valid for international itineraries. The press release from the TSA is short on details, so it’ll be interesting to see how it works in practice. Specifically, I wonder if it’ll work as consistently for international travel as it does for domestic travel.

For what it’s worth, unofficially Pre-Check has been working on international itineraries for a long time now. Not for the international flight itself, but for international itineraries with connecting flights. I’ve gotten the “three beeps” (which indicate you have Pre-Check) and have been allowed to use the Pre-Check lane on my last two international itineraries.

So it’s great that this is finally official.

Filed Under: Security/TSA


  1. While this is great news, I personally have not found Pre-Check consistent at all. In fact, since being approved for the Global Entry Program 2 months ago, I have only cleared Pre-Check ONCE in more than a dozen flights. They say it’s “random”, but just not sure how their “random” works! Hope the international odds are better.

  2. Did you get the three beeps for the domestic flight connecting to an international flight? Or for a boarding pass that actually leaves the US directly? E.g. a direct flight SFO-NRT and received pre-check in SFO.

  3. Just signed up for the VISA Signature CLEAR offer, I would rather take off my shoes knowing I’ll be at the front of the line. Then have the utter randomness of Pre-Check

  4. I got precheck for domestic flight as part of an international itinerary several weeks ago, however I had to reclear immigration in MIA anyways.

    FWIW I’m 5/5 so far

  5. I have Global Entry and the only two times I have not been cleared for PreCheck was on the domestic outbound (at SNA) and return (at EWR) legs for a trip to Zurich. Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about that now with the policy change.

  6. @ Nate — Only for the connecting flights, though it’s not entirely clear to me how consistent it’ll be if you’re clearing at the actual international gateway under the new program.

  7. Worth noting that there does not appear to be any plans at this point to get foreign airlines involved, so this benefit will only work when you’re leaving the country on a US-based airline.

  8. Great news!! Will try when I travel MIA-MEX on the 20th! I’ve always cleared Pre on domestic flights (maybe ~10 times?), but never on a domestic connection of an international itinerary. Of course, most of my travel is Int’l and every time I would ask the TSA agent if they knew anything new.

  9. I cleared out of JFK on 5/3 connecting to a MIA international flight even though they originally told me I couldn’t because of the international itinerary.

  10. Does any other airport disable the audible beeps? SNA muted all sounds from the scanner at the checkpoint so you have to wait for the agent to tell you if you cleared. I can see three “L”s after my name on the screen readout when I’ve cleared. Curious as to why they might do this.

  11. @ archiTREKt — There are lots of airports like that. Don’t think there’s necessarily a reason, there are probably just different settings depending on the types of machines they have. I’ve usually been able to peek over and look at it while they’re checking your ID, given how low the “podium” usually is.

  12. Basic question — I have Global entry, so what do I need to do to incorporate Pre on all boarding passes?

  13. @ cahbf — You’ll want to go to your individual frequent flyer profiles and enter your “Known Traveler Number.” That gives you the best shot at being eligible.

  14. TSA PreCheck showed up on my boarding pass for SFO-HKG tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s a PreCheck lane in the International terminal. Guess I could enter through T3 and walk to Term G.

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