What Can You Do If You Have TSA PreCheck and Your Partner Doesn’t?

by SharonKurheg

Think about this scenario: a married couple arrives at the airport. One of them has TSA PreCheck, the other doesn’t. If they’re lucky, the one who hasn’t paid for PreCheck gets the status for this flight anyway because of their partner’s status (it used to happen all the time and sometimes still does. There was a bill to stop the practice back in 2018 – the House passed it in 2018 but the Senate let it die in 2019). But that’s not always the case. So then, what do you do?

a crowd of people in an airport

Lines of travelers snake past TSA agents at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

In a situation like this, there are really only 2 choices:

The reasoning behind whatever decision they make is as varied as the personalities of each couple. But it’s an interesting topic. Interesting enough for a writer at Slate to interview several couples with such “mixed-Precheck-status relationships” to see, not only what they do, but why.

Click here to read the piece.

It’s admittedly a small decision, but so much goes into it. From Slate: “…a test of loyalty, a spotlight on income or lifestyle differences, or a reminder that, in a relationship, one party’s personal choices almost always affect the other. A long-awaited getaway can easily turn fraught when it begins with this minor dilemma: Should a Precheck member take their rightful place among the elite in the shorter security line, even if it means leaving their spouse behind?”

When Joe and I originally got our Global Entry status, years ago, which included TSA PreCheck, we did it simultaneously. And we’ve both always renewed when we were supposed to (here’s the crazy amount of time it took for my Global Entry to be approved recently. Not everybody is so lucky; here’s why). So we’ve always both had the status.

But in talking about it, if Joe had PreCheck and I didn’t, he says he would go with me on the regular line. If I had it and he didn’t, I’d meet him on the other side. BUT…he’s more of a gentleman than I am 😉 and I am independent to a fault (it’s a “very short person” thing). Plus, he hates to wait, and I love to people-watch, so whichever of us got to “the other side” first would be miserable or in her glory, depending on who it was.

However, Joe also clarified that if he had a bunch of crap in his bag that would be a pain to unpack, then he’s going through PreCheck without me.

So as you can see, it’s really a situation of Your Mileage May Vary. You do whatever works best for you. Well, and your partner, too. Or maybe OR your partner. Again, YMMV 😉

If you don’t mind sharing, what would YOU do?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Alex May 26, 2024 - 3:20 pm

Knock on wood, my wife received it too…but you have to be traveling on the same reservation. Sometimes you can’t…for instance a combined business-leisure trip where one is returning before the other.


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