Is TSA Pre-Check Overrated? Share Your Opinion

by Eric

In his most recent Monday Morning Quarterback article on Sports Illustrated, writer Peter King shared a recent experience he had with TSA Pre-Check.


In the article, he wrote:

Tuesday, LaGuardia Airport, New York City, 7:12 a.m., security line at Terminal D:

At TSA Precheck, I count, and I am 39th in line. I look at the regular line, and 13 people are in line. That’s probably fluky, but more and more I’ve found that very often there’s no advantage to be in TSA Precheck. Thoughts?

King asked others to share their experiences and he is very good about publishing many of the emails he receives. This is a nice opportunity for frequent travelers to share their opinion of TSA Pre-Check and have it be read by a wider audience. Email Peter King and the MMQB crew at, with the Subject line: TSA Precheck.

The responses below 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.


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James September 19, 2016 - 8:57 am

Had TSA precheck in San Diego and the line was longer for TSA precheck than it was for normal security check.

DWT September 19, 2016 - 9:03 am

Indeed that can be the case… but I’d rather wait a few extra minutes for PreCheck than to go through the hassle of taking off my shoes and having to go through the full body scanner.

Mike September 19, 2016 - 9:09 am

If you go through the regular line and have PreCheck they will stamp your boarding pass and you can leave your shoes on. You will still have to take out laptops and liquids but its an option to use if the lines are much longer. Also I have found out that precheck lines have been longer than regular lines, but they move much faster

Shaun September 19, 2016 - 9:20 am

Anyone who does not have TSA pre-check should try going through Orlando without it.

Shannon September 19, 2016 - 9:54 am

Agree. For a family of five, it’s totally worth it. I’ve never had a longer wait ever! At MCO, it’s awesome.

Aaron K September 19, 2016 - 9:23 am

The purpose of TSA Precheck isn’t to have shorter lines for select people. It’s to move lots of people through as quickly as possible. Even if the line is the same length, the precheck line generally moves much faster. And it should move even quicker the more educated people are to the process.

Hari September 19, 2016 - 9:26 am

TSA Pre-Check lines are getting longer, but it is still worth it for the hassle of not having to do the walk of shame afterwards, holding your shoes and belt in one hand and your bag in the other. To make it go faster, it would help if people given TSA Pre-Check (not the ones who actively applied for it) were told what it entailed. Most of the delays I’ve seen have been due to: shift changes, people taking things off that they didn’t need to, or honest mistakes (using a backpack one week and forgetting something was in it, etc.).

Danny September 19, 2016 - 9:40 am

TSA needs to create a “staging area” to prepare people before they enter the main line. So many people are clueless and unprepared which makes the line very slow.

JH September 19, 2016 - 10:29 am

If you don’t have (and aren’t approved for) TSA pre check, the airlines shouldn’t allow “premium” customers in F / J class to use that line. Frequent flyer or not, I paid for pre check (and have been cleared by a TSA background check) and the other guy or gal gets to use the line because they (or their company) bought them a “premium fare” ticket – that allows them “entitlement” to the TSA pre check line – that’s not cool. If you want to get the benefits of TSA pre check- pay up like the rest of us did!

George L. September 20, 2016 - 8:24 am

Frequent or Premium Class passengers do not get to enjoy PreCheck. They get to enjoy Priority Security lines, which are completely different animals. PreCheck is a function of a basic DHS security clearance and if you don’t apply for it, you don’t have it.

Priority lines for Premium Class passengers and frequent fliers are separate lines that still break down into regular and PreCheck security screenings at their end. They just have a lot fewer passengers in those lines.

George L. September 20, 2016 - 8:25 am

In the end, 20 people in a PreCheck line take a lot less time to go through security than 10 people in the regular line and that will always be so.

askmrlee September 19, 2016 - 11:55 am

Why is it that MCO has such long, slow non-precheck lines? Is the theory that MCO has mostly leisure travelers who are slower than experienced traveler types? (Think Clooney in Up in the Sky)

Ken September 19, 2016 - 12:13 pm

I’ve found PreCheck lines to be longer every time I’ve traveled the last few months. Each time I look at the person who entered the normal line at the same time as me and, every time, they get through security faster than me! PreCheck is less hassle, but I’m starting to question its value.

Ben September 19, 2016 - 7:39 pm

Worth it for me and I’ve only had it (through Global Entry) for a few months. The last three times I’ve flown from home (PHL) the PreCheck line has been shorter than the normal lines. Plus twice this summer I slept through my hotel alarm and, had it not been for PreCheck, would have missed my flight. Fortunately early morning at BOS and CLE with PreCheck meant I sailed through security!

Tony September 19, 2016 - 8:40 pm

The only people who think Precheck isn’t worth it are not frequent fliers who see the benefits everyday. Any idea how much time i save not having to take my shoes off or my laptop out of my bag? A lot.

Justin B September 19, 2016 - 11:50 pm

To some extent, “managed inclusion” still plays a role in TSA Pre being sometimes longer. Ultimately, even if it take a couple extra mins it’s nice to not have to remove laptop, shoes or use any bins. Plus, my average time in tons of domestic airports in a TSA Pre line is still under 6mins. No real complaints. Just sometimes annoyed.

TSA Calls Off PreCheck Expansion Search - Point Me to the Plane November 10, 2016 - 9:37 am

[…] TSA PreCheck (or as half the airline agents I’ve worked with call it, simply “TSA Pre”) is a program that allows you to go through expedited security. You have to go through a background check, fingerprinting, and an in-person interview, but it has saved me tons of time in the past. Though since you can also get randomly selected to participate on a flight-by-flight basis even without enrolling, some say the program is overrated. […]


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