I travelled through Honolulu last week. Stopping by the American Airlines desk I asked where PreCheck was. She directed me down to the main international entrance to security. There was a PreCheck line which you access through its own automatic sliding door. ‘Woot’, I thought this is going to be good.
Once inside there were only two people in line, Excellent.
However, once at the podium where TSA checks your ID and Boarding Pass I was given a yellow slip.
Reading it quickly, there wasn’t space between the podium and the belt, I noticed that I needed to get out my liquids.
Shouted at in the normal TSA way, I was told (loudly) that this was ‘Modified Pre-Check’.
In fact it only meant that Pre-Check customers got to keep their shoes on.
So after the laborious process of unpacking and repacking I went in search of a TSA ‘3 striper’ and a complaint form. I found one them.
The ‘3 Striper’ explained that because they mixed non-Pre and Pre passengers they operated a modified Pre-Check here. Clearly the yellow cards were enough to tell the person at the security arch that we were Pre-check and so could retain our shoes, but not enough to tell the x-ray operator.
‘What?’ I asked ‘Was the point of paying for Pre-check/Global Entry’ when the service is the same?
She didn’t really have an answer, and whilst I have written to the TSA via the web site no reply has been received.
It seems that some Pre-Checks are better than others.