TSA Precheck For Military Overview

TSA Pre-check Military

Flying can be stressful, especially when it comes to going through security. The good news is, military members are eligible to participate in TSA Precheck for free. This is what you need to know about that, who really qualifies, and what you can do if you don’t.

The Ins and Outs of the TSA Precheck For Military Program

What Does TSA Precheck Actually Do?

TSA Precheck can save you time, which is so helpful, especially if you travel often. It is expedited security screening at participating airports. Lines will be shorter in TSA Precheck and move more quickly. They do not require you to take off your belt, shoes, or light jackets. You don’t have to have your toiletries in a ziplock bag, and you don’t have to remove your laptop from your carry-on. Overall, going with TSA Precheck can save you a lot of time and headache when flying.

Who Is Eligible For TSA Precheck For Free?

The TSA website states, “All members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the Reserves and National Guard can benefit from TSA Pre✓® expedited screening at select airports when flying on participating airlines.”

In addition, service academy students, as well as children 12 and under, while traveling with an eligible adult, are eligible.

In order to use the program, you would need to enter your DOD ID # found on your CAC ID card. You would enter this number under “known traveler number” when you are making your airline reservations.

Then you should see a TSA Precheck notification on your boarding pass when it comes time to fly.

When you arrive for your flight, you would go through the TSA Precheck line instead of the general line, unless the airport you are at doesn’t offer TSA Precheck. You’ll find TSA Precheck at more than 200 airports and with 67 participating airlines.  You can find a list of the participating airlines at the bottom of this article. 

Are Veterans, Retirees, and Military Spouses Eligible for TSA Precheck for Free?

Veterans, retirees, and military spouses, unfortunately are not eligible for TSA’s partnership with the DOD but they can apply for TSA Precheck on their own through the TSA Precheck application program, which would be $85 to cover the cost of a background check and would be good for 5 years. Veterans, retirees, and military spouses are not normally screened the way service members are and so the government can not ensure that they are cleared.

Are Wounded Warriors Eligible?

For wounded warriors, they can experience expedited screening procedures as TSA verifies their status through the appropriate military branches. Injured, wounded service members, veterans and wounded warriors may contact TSA Cares. TSA Cares helps assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

What About DoD and US Coast Guard Civilian Employees?

Those with the Department of Defense and US Coast Guard Civilian employees must opt into the program using the milConnect website at https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/. Their DOD ID number is also their KTN.

Who Else Is Eligible for TSA Precheck?

The following all qualify for TSA Precheck:

  • US citizens of frequent flyer programs who meet the TSA-mandated criteria and have been invited by a particular airline
  • US citizens and lawful permanent residents with a Known Traveler Number
  • Citizens and lawful permanent residents of the US who are members of the TSA Pre-application program
  • Members of the US Customs and Border Protection trusted traveler programs to include:
    • All members of Global Entry
    • US citizens and lawful permanent residents as well as Canadian citizens that are members of NEXUS
    • US citizens and lawful permanent residents who are members of SENTRI

Summary of TSA Precheck Program For Military

Basically speaking, service members, including active duty, the National Guard, and the Reserves as well as students at the armed forces’ service academies are automatically enrolled in the TSA Precheck program.

Veterans, retirees, and military spouses are not, but can fill out the TSA Precheck application and pay the $85 fee to use the program.

Wounded Warriors can get help through TSA after being verified. While there might be exceptions when it comes to certain people, this is the current way things are done when it comes to TSA Precheck.

Participating TSA Pre-Check Airlines

As of July 2019

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Air India
  • Air Serbia
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Aruba Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Boutique Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • China Airlines
  • Condor Airlines
  • Contour Aviation
  • Copa Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Eastern Airlines
  • Edelweiss Air
  • Elite Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Flycana
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • InterCaribbean Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Key Lime Air
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Miami Air International
  • Norwegian Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Porter Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southern Airways Express
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Sunwing Airlines
  • Swift Air
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (Scan.)
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)
  • Turkish Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • ViaAir
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Volaris
  • WestJet
  • World Atlantic
  • Xtra Airways

For the most up-to-date list of participating airlines, please visit the TSA website.



About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.