When Is TSA Pre-check Not the Best Option?

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When every elite has it.

At the beginning of our mileage run this weekend, Jeanne & I parted ways at Dulles Airport security, me to the TSA pre-check line, Jeanne to the regular security line which was showing a 25 minute wait.

I get to my line and see, not kidding, at least 70 people in line.

Dulles TSA Pre-check line backed up

Ouch, looks like I was barely going to beat Jeanne through security, but at least I wouldn’t have to take my shoes off and my liquids out. 10 minutes later and I still hadn’t made it to the agent checking IDs, so it looked like Jeanne might win.

tsa tweet

I finally make it through security in about 25 min and head down to wait for Jeanne. 10 minutes later I still hadn’t seen her and I was getting worried since our flight had probably started boarding. I send her a text message only to discover she was already on the plane!

She’d made it through security in 5 minutes because there was no one in the elite line (they were all upstairs with me!) and figured my tweet was a joke and I was already at the gate when she got through.

I did make it to the gate, but only after all of zone 5 had already boarded! I was not the last person in first to board though – the back was full but half of the front cabin was empty. Probably folks like me stuck in security.

Definitely not a good day for TSA pre-check and possibly some karmic payback for my post last week?


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Heels First’s Travel Advice–Sophisticated Travel, Uncomplicated Advice. The travels and tribulations of two frequent flyers jumping into the world of travel, sharing their travel advice. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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  1. Deb Wallendorf

    September 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    TSA is a joke; giving the traveling public a false sense of security. Just another bloated governmental agency.

  2. Bethanny Parker

    September 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    It’s a funny story, but I really wish people would stop flying to boycott the TSA. If we refused to put up with it, either the airlines would all go bankrupt or they would pressure the politicians to get rid of TSA. I’m betting on the latter.

  3. Some Guy

    September 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    And without the TSA everyone would just behave?

  4. Deena

    September 16, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I have pre-TSA, but it did me no good in New York a few weeks ago because I have 2 knee replacements and when I go thru a regular x-ray, they set the machine off. They don’t have the new xray machines in that line; why should they, everyone is pre-screened. Worse, now they bring out not one, but two female TSAs to take me to a private room to check me. I’d have been better off staying in the interminable regular line and going through the new machine. What a bummer. Can’t win either way. Bin Laden knew exactly how to cripple us.

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