I have been using the TSA PreCheck service since soon after its inception in 2011, without paying an enrollment fee, after being invited by US Airways to participate. This has allowed me to use the simpler and faster TSA PreCheck lane at airport security, rather than joining the majority of fliers in regular security lines. However a couple of weeks ago, I received a notice from American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, that I now needed to register for a “Known Traveler Number” (KTN) so I can continue to use the PreCheck service. I don’t really know why my gratis status is no longer acceptable, but it apparently it is.
So, I filled out a pre-registration form at Universal Enroll last week, booked at a screening appointment at a registration center a few miles from my house, and went through the final process today.
Today’s registration process was unexpectedly painless. It took less than 15 minutes, including a short wait in the lobby, fingerprinting, stepping through a series of Identity Proofing steps and paying the $85 fee. Alas, I still don’t have a KTN. That is supposed to be issued in a week or two after some big computer in the sky processes my information. Then, I am supposed to be set up to use the PreCheck lane every time.
The downside? The government has me in yet another identity database. My KTN will be linked to my SSN, as well as to my fingerprints and other personal identification data. Big Brother seems closer than ever before!
Next step after the KTN? I will need to get a new Arizona drivers license that is Real ID compliant before January if I want to continue flying. Yet another Federal tentacle into my life!