Double-check your Pre√ number

By Ted Haas
This item appears on page 14 of the February 2015 issue.

The problem the subscriber described with TSA Pre√TM (Pre-check) in the letter “Issues with Global Entry” (Dec.’14, pg. 51) is not unique. My wife and I have been enrolled in Global Entry for several years, and for the last year or so we experienced the very same issue.

The problem first occurred during August 2013 on a trip to Europe, flying Delta Air Lines, San Diego-Atlanta-London. In San Diego there was no problem, as we were both in the first-class line, but in Atlanta we got separated, as my wife’s boarding pass did not have “Pre√” printed on it. She barely made the flight, even after begging her way to the front of the line.

In February 2014 we flew Delta, San Diego-Atlanta-Buenos Aires, Argentina. There was no problem in San Diego or Atlanta; we were in the first-class line. However, flying home from Ft. Lauderdale on Delta, my boarding pass had Pre√ while my wife’s didn’t.

When we got home, I made several calls to Delta and was told the problem was with the TSA. Of course, the TSA blamed Delta. I got nowhere.

Finally, in September 2014 we flew Delta from San Diego to Vancouver. I preprinted the boarding passes and, once again, only mine had Pre√. We took this up with an agent at check-in (not at the gate) in San Diego.

The agent took some time to examine our Global Entry/Pre√ cards and compared them with our profiles in the computer. Bingo! He saw that we had entered the wrong 9-digit code on my wife’s profile. He corrected it and reprinted the boarding passes. (We haven’t had a chance to fly since then.)

There are three numbers on the Global Entry card: a 9-digit number in the upper left, a 9-digit number in the upper right (very small type) and, finally, a larger 9-digit number below that. Which one do you enter into your airline profile? 

It turns out you use only the 9-digit number in the upper left. Do NOT include the separate 5-character code that follows it.

You’ll note that this 9-digit number is the number repeated at the bottom of the card, embedded in other codes. 


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