I fly through the same airport (BUR) on the same airline (Alaska) every month. This last trip the officers were not respecting PreCheck benefits. They were making PreCheck passengers remove laptops from bags and take off shoes, etc. I found the TSA PreCheck website still reports all these benefits. Is this common?

Edit: since there seems to be some confusion on this, I'll clarify.

  • previously, all PreCheck passengers at this terminal were allowed to keep shoes on and laptops in bags, etc
  • this was the first time I observed PreCheck passengers being told to remove all these items and this policy was being applied wholesale
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    If you use the Airports tool on that website, you will notice that Burbank lists only two airlines with TSA Pre - JetBlue and Southwest, not Alaska. – user13044 Sep 14 '17 at 16:58
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    Was the TSA PreCheck logo on your boarding pass? Both the TSA and Alaska Airlines seem to agree that Alaska does not (currently?) participate in TSA PreCheck at Burbank. – Dennis Sep 14 '17 at 17:08
  • @Dennis: That's interesting. I figured airline participation was across the board, but apparently it is per-airport; e.g. Alaska does participate at SFO. – Nate Eldredge Sep 14 '17 at 18:27
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    @Dennis Quite possibly. Especially since you can keep laptops in "checkpoint friendly" bags (ones that unfold so the laptop is just by itself) in non-precheck lanes, so it's likely the X-ray operator would just let it go unless there was a lot of clutter around the laptop. Of course, "unpredictable security measures" is a fancy way of saying "hope we don't randomly declare today to be 'everyone takes their pants off Thursday,'" so who knows? – Zach Lipton Sep 14 '17 at 20:21
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    To clarify, I don't recall seeing this happen at this terminal in the past, and it was happening to everyone that morning, not just me. The TSA agent assigned to do the yelling that day was very vocal about it. – Steverino Sep 14 '17 at 21:09

https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/faq says:

If I am TSA Pre✓® eligible, am I guaranteed expedited screening?

No, TSA uses unpredictable security measures, both seen and unseen, throughout the airport. All travelers will be screened, and no individual is guaranteed expedited screening.

This doesn't address the "Is this common?" question, but it highlights the fact that the expedited screening is not guaranteed, they may at any time or for any reason decide to make additional checks.

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    "unpredictable security measures" just means you'll never know when they screw up ;) – Johns-305 Sep 14 '17 at 17:53
  • I would not pay for this privilege if they can revoke it arbitrarily without warning or refund. Incidentally I got it free through a travel card but it's still irritating. What is the purpose of a trusted traveler program if you don't honor it? The tinfoil hat guy in me is whispering "cash grab." Artificial bottlenecking and then take cash to let people through quicker ...when you feel like it. (PS: I know it works most of the time.) – Steverino Oct 5 '17 at 0:02

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