I applied for and received a Global Entry identification card about a year ago. Along with Global Entry, the card is also eligible for TSA Pre.

On every occasion, when departing from Columbus International Airport (CMH) I've gone into the TSA Pre line only to be told I can't use the card and have to go to the back of the standard security line.

The card has worked fine when entering through Global Entry. As well as the TSA Pre lines at other airports.

I've never received a satisfactory answer as to why I can't enter through TSA Pre at CMH. The most I've been told is it has something to do with my airline ticket and not being pre-approved.

Thankfully, the delay in switching to the standard security line has never caused any missed flights or other issues, but I'd still like to know why my identification isn't allowed.

Any ideas?

  • Are you entering your Global Entry number into the Known Traveler Number field when booking your flight? Are you flying an airline that participates in the TSA Pre program?
    – gparyani
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:42

3 Answers 3


Your boarding pass, and only your boarding pass, indicates whether you have access to TSA Pre for your current flight.

First, you have to be flying on an airline that participates in the program. See TSA Pre✓® Participating Airlines. Second, you have to give the airline a valid Known Traveler Number. For you, that will be your Global Entry number. Third, you have to not be too unlucky. Pre-check authorization is never guaranteed. However, I have always got it when flying on a participating airline that has my Global Entry number.

If all the conditions are met, your boarding pass will be marked as having TSA Pre, and you can use the Pre-check line.

  • 9
    This is the right answer. In my experience, the TSA can be inconsistent in their policy enforcement from airport to airport. It sounds like what's happening is that other airports are not properly enforcing the rules and are letting you get away with using your Global Entry card when they should not. It must be on your ticket and you must be pre-approved to use the TSA Pre line. The ticket counter can usually reprint your ticket with PreCheck authorization if you supply them with your know traveler number Dec 18, 2017 at 22:22

Patricia's answer is completely correct. Just having Global Entry or even directly registering for PreCheck itself isn't sufficient to get the benefit. You must actually have your Known Traveler Number or Global Entry number on your airline reservation.

The question How does one inform airlines of one's KTN, if the KTN was issued after a booking had been made? covers how to add your KTN to reservations that you have already booked.

Additionally, most airlines allow you to add your KTN to your frequent flier account with that airline so that it will automatically be added to future reservations you make with that airline. For airlines where you don't have an account, you'll need to add your KTN manually for new reservations.


You need to register your trusted traveler ID number with your airline flight booking. Have you done this? It's called your "Known Traveler Number" on most airline websites.

Without this, you won't automatically get TSA Pre benefits.

Incidentally, GlobalEntry is primarily about getting expedited customs and immigration treatment when you re-enter the United States from other countries. TSA Pre is a bonus benefit that was added later.

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