Despite a spat with US airlines earlier in the month, Qatar Airways has become the latest airline to join TSA Pre-Check. The move means that many more passengers leaving the US will be able to make use of their trusted traveller status.
TSA Pre-Check is a system in use in American airports. While it allows trusted travellers to experience more relaxed security checks, it is not available with every flight. Qatar Airways is joined in being the latest TSA Pre-Check member by the Swiss airline Edelweiss. As a matter of fact, these two airlines make up the 66th and 67th members of the program.
What is TSA Pre-Check?
TSA Pre-Check is a system whereby frequent flyers can apply to become trusted travellers. The travellers are required to undergo robust background checks to ensure that they do not present a security threat. It also costs a fee of $85, however, Global Entry members receive the perk for free.
While passengers are typically required to join a long line and remove a number of items from their luggage, this is not the case for TSA Pre-Check passengers. In fact, trusted travellers can leave small liquids and laptops in their bag. This is in addition to keeping belts, shoes and light jackets on.
What does this mean for Qatar passengers?
Eligible passengers on board Qatar flights leaving select US airports will be able to use the TSA Pre-Check facility. In order to make use of this, however, they will be required to input their KTN (known traveller number) during booking. If eligible, they will receive a TSA Pre “tick” on their boarding pass.
US passengers who are not eligible will need to apply for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry. However, foreign citizens may only apply for Global Entry, and only if eligible.
US airlines spat
Qatar Airways is currently in a spat with three United States Airlines. These are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. The three claim that they are threatened by Air Italy, an Italian carrier of which Qatar holds 49%.
They claim Air Italy is a front for violating US-Qatar open skies agreement. This is despite Air Italy operating a fleet of just 13 aircraft. Things have become so heated that Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has frequently threatened to leave the Oneworld Alliance over a lack of support from American Airlines.
Will you find Qatar’s TSA Pre-Check status helpful? Let us know in the comments!