TSA Gives Me PreCheck Access… Without Asking

You can imagine my surprise when I received this boarding pass yesterday…

That’s right — the guy who sues, publicly humiliates, and fights before Congress the TSA now has TSA PreCheck, meaning that I’ll personally almost never encounter a body scanner or pat-down again.

I never asked for it, never opted-in, and had no notice that I was included. I intentionally avoided it because I don’t think it’s fair that one should have to do anything to avoid being abused by their government. Their inclusion of me in this program is further ironic since in 2010, when I filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that would require the TSA not to scan or molest me, the TSA argued that such an “ad hoc” exclusion would devistate the TSA’s inpenetrable fortress. But here we are in 2014, and the TSA has done just that.

How and Why

There are many ways that people can get PreCheck status, according to the TSA, the most common being allowed to opt-in as a result of frequent flyer status. I do have that status, but I’ve never opted in, so I assume this not to be the reason.

More likely is the TSA’s new “risk assessment” program, where the TSA somehow decides, based on information like your name, address, and travel history, that you must not be a terrorist. Perhaps this is how I’ve made it through.

Or perhaps the TSA simply thinks that if it keeps me away from the body scanners, I’ll shut up. Nope — what the TSA is doing is wrong, and it’s wrong whether they decide to give me special treatment or not. “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

66 thoughts on “TSA Gives Me PreCheck Access… Without Asking

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  1. Funny Story I was flying back home from Vegas the other day, and I got to the Airport early because i know the extra wait leaving from vegas on the 730 AM flights is busy….I was allowed to Pass thru TSA —-Didnt have to remove Laptop or anything from Suitcase, Did not have to remove Shoes, Did not have to pull out CPAP Machine for Inspection…did not have to clean out my pockets before going thru metal detector……So I asked the TSA agent what regulations have changed that all the Extra security did not have to do anymore…….His Response, new policy is that during Peak Flying hours security is going back to pre 9/11 easy check thru to help speed up service to customers……which again proves that the “EXTRA SECURITY” measures are not important but just a scam.

      1. Managed Inclusion means all of this BS TSA puts you through is just a big show and not needed.

        If the regular level of screening is needed then what idiot would stop doing it even if for only certain periods?

  2. Congratulations, fine sir. For whatever that’s worth in the context of similarly nonsensical NoFly statuses like joe’s link and Rahinah Ibrahim (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/rahinah-ibrahim-no-fly-list_n_4612076.html) and even more numerous nonsensical PreChk reports like yours. It seems that the US Government is quite happy granting or denying its citizens their constitutional and international agreed rights randomly or with whatever fickle (and secret) ad hockery (what a mockery!) they so deem.

    My guess is that there aren’t any humans in power who would consciously want you on either the NoFly list (“he can win that one!”) or the PreChk list (“why convenience our enemy?”) and that you got on it either by some automated analysis or by some low ranking official who either doesn’t check your blog or your name didn’t ring a bell, or who just plain doesn’t give the difference between a flat flap and a flying flap if you’re the no-record frequent-flying type that is so unlikely to be a terrorist. For whatever it’s worth, congratulations!

    1. Very possible that it was just an automated system that added me. But, if you think about it, I can never (easily ;)) guarantee that I’ll go through a scanner on any trip ever again, which would make it very hard for me to test the system. They can also try and argue now that I no longer have standing to sue (an argument that would be weak considering that PreCheck still randomly sends some travelers to the scanners). It would be a clever, if not wise, move on their part. But, as mentioned, my suit will go on.

      1. My first thought was it was to insure you no longer had standing for your lawsuit. My second thought was TSA is not that clever and it was just a screwup.

  3. Just happened to me this morning. My ticket had no indication of TSA pre-check. I have never applied for TSA pre-check. I fly nearly every week and this morning at AUS I was in line went through the ID/boarding pass check and was ushered over to the pre-check line??? I thought that was odd and stated that I was not a part of the TSA pre-check program and the TSA goon informed me that “you are today”??? Very perplexing. Two weeks ago I was returning home from ATL to AUS and watched while the TSA let a man through security that had no identification other than his boarding pass which also blew my mind. The goon at the desk asked him for ID as he handed his boarding pass and the man said I lost my wallet. The goon just waived him through. I witnessed several people including myself question this and the goons supervisor came by and said it was none of our business!!! Yeah I feel much safer with these f’ing bozo’s in charge of airport security. Maybe Russia should hire them to keep the terrorists out of Sochi? Just saying…

  4. It’s a setup.

    They are setting you up to be arrested ‘in possession’ of something they will plant on you.

  5. Maybe it was just a mistake; these kinds of things can happen when an organization is populated exclusively by total fucking idiots and the circus clowns they answer to.

  6. Alan, you are letting the TSA molesters off lightly when you dismiss them as idiots and circus clowns. They are neither of those things. They are volunteers, who know full well what their duties will be, and they do them cheerfully. They are more like the guards on the cattle trains to Auschwitz than clowns in a circus. Their purpose is to get air passengers accustomed to being manhandled by men in uniform.

    As for Alec Baldwin – where has he been living, the past few years, not to be aware of the danger to his baby? Back in 2010 I decided that my and my family’s flights from our home in the Caribbean to England would have to by-pass any US airport, so as to avoid that same danger. I blogged about it in November of that year. (“1984 Revisited”, I called the piece; the blog is “Barlow’s Cayman”, for anybody who wants to read it.) Since that decision, it has cost me some thousands of dollars extra in airfares. But it’s worth doing. Dear me! What has America come to?

  7. Many of us Americans who have the option simply refuse to fly anywhere since we don’t need to for work. I have been on one trip since 9/11. Those bastard’s won’t be touching me, my wife, or my kids again. The ass wipes at the airlines can stick it as well. My Constitutional rights are a matter of principal. Air travel is not.

  8. Traveler Warning: Airlines not liable for exaggerating in describing possible air emergency

    The New York Times reports that on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that an airlines may not be held liable for minor falsehoods in warning the authorities about potential threats to air security.

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that when an airline reports to TSA about an individual who might pose a potential danger, the airline may not be held liable if its report contained exaggerations and minor falsehoods. Air Wisconsin terminated the employment of a pilot who failed several required tests, and who became extremely agitated and disruptive during the fourth, and last, test. In its report to TSA, the airline described the pilot as “mentally unstable.”

    The fired pilot sued the airline for describing him as mentally unstable, and a Colorado jury awarded him $1.2 million in damages. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the majority, said “a few inaptly chosen words” were not enough to support the verdict. “Baggage handlers, flight attendants, gate agents, and other airline employees who report suspicious behavior to the TSA should not face financial ruin if, in the heat of a potential threat, they fail to choose their words with exacting care,” she wrote. A federal law — the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 — gives airline employees broad immunity from lawsuits for reports of suspicious activities.

  9. Jon, I hate to break it to you man, but you have it all wrong in regards to the TSA violating the 4th amendment. The 4th amendment doesn’t apply to TSA searches, and neither do any of our rights. The reason why is because people who are commercial airline passengers are in commerce, and here is an article I wrote on Planet Infowars to explain this:
    Why is it that Jesse Ventura and other people who have tried to file a lawsuit against the TSA for violating rights can’t win the lawsuit? Most people will say that it is because many people perceive the TSA as justified and necessary to keep people safe from things like terrorists, but according to Deborah Stevens of the “Rule of Law Radio Show” on the Logos Radio Network, there is actually another reason why you can’t win a lawsuit against the TSA…….. YOU ARE IN COMMERCE.
    Deborah says there is a reason why the New World Order chose the name TRANSPORTATION Security Administration, and that reason is because the term “transportation” has a legal definition (and not a standard English dictionary definition) which expressly defines “transportation” as a COMMERCIAL TERM. She also says that the reason our airline tickets refer to us as PASSENGERS is because that term also has a legal definition which is commerce related. Why does this matter? Because interstate commerce is something government has authority to regulate, and there are times where government can take away your rights if you agree to participate in a commercial activity. Deborah said that this means that what the TSA does (and the TSA’s of other nations) IS NOT ILLEGAL! And as long as they can keep us in the dark to this fact, then the TSA can keep doing what they do to us for eternity because, in Deborah’s words, we are just cargo.
    So how do we solve this problem and make what the TSA does illegal? Deborah says that we would need to change the wording of our tickets so that the commercial term PASSENGER is replaced with the non-commercial term TRAVELER. In this way, the TSA no longer has legal grounds to invasively search people because doing so would violate our RIGHT TO TRAVEL. We would then be able to sue them and win cases.
    It should be noted, however, that some law experts say that we should not have to do this. Eddie Craig, another host on the Rule of Law Radio Show, said that when we buy our tickets we are not paying for commerce, we are paying for SERVICE, and if we are paying for service then that gives us the right to ask that we not be invasively searched at airport security. Craig also used the argument that if you contracted with a commercial company to transport goods via interstate commerce and law enforcement or government personnel tried to stop you to search your cargo, and if you tried to take the case to court, then the courts would without a doubt say that the government may not search all the cargo. Craig then said, “So if the goods are not subject to such searches, why should the passengers on planes be subject to such searches?”

    That was the article as it appeared word for word on Planet Infowars, and this is why using the 4th amendment as a means of stopping the TSA is pointless. So Jon, I hope my writing this comment on your site hear will encourage you to take a whole new approach to stopping the TSA because as long as you use the “people have rights that can’t be violated” excuse you won’t get anywhere. When you willfully agree to engage in commerce, the government has some regulatory authority to take away your rights.

    1. Andrew, respectfully, whoever told you that story is entirely full of shit. Whether or not I am engaged in, or a part of, commerce, has no effect on my constitutional rights. If you disagree, please have a read of the Constitution and point me to the “except when you’re in commerce” clause.

  10. Andrew, your warped & mistaken interpretation of our Bill of Rights is something a TSA official would say in an attempt to justify their illegal actions!

    Using a radio talk show hosts opinion as a rule of law, I mean really?
    Rule of Law Radio Show “Reclaiming our freedom with Scripture, truth, law, fundamental principles, & comedy!”

    It’s a joke the TSA even exists…

    American citizens don’t arbitrarily give up their rights because they’re deemed passengers. Your (TSA’s) argument wouldn’t pass muster in court. Ok, it would in today’s court all we have to do is look to the NSA court rulings and see how the system has been rigged.

  11. Secure Flight assigns pre-check status on a person-by-person, flight-by-flight basis. So if you don’t get it in the future, that’s why. If you do again, congratulations!

    I happen to be a TSO who follows your blog. I can answer questions as long as it doesn’t pertain to SSI – an admittedly garbage blanket term the TSA made up to try to muddy the waters – since I do kind of need to stay gainfully employed.

  12. I fly on a weekly basis and have noticed that the TSA pre-check lines at ATL have been longer than usual. Some kind of “promotion” to get people to sign up by awarding random passengers pre-check status?

  13. TSA using bomb-sniffing dogs at Orlando International Airport:

    The Transportation Security Administration is working with Orlando International Airport to conduct new threat assessments, a new security improvement with the help of some four-legged friends.

    In a time when security step-ups are usually more time-consuming for passengers, the new process is actually speeding up things.

    The TSA said it wants to stay away from a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to any security issue, and that starts by working in real time with bomb-sniffing dogs.

    “This basically allows us to take a group and put them in a pre-check lane, because we know about them through this individual instance coming through,” said Jerry Henderson, the TSA’s security director at MCO.

    The process started Dec. 19. During peak travel times, security dogs pace back and forth, sniffing passengers even before they get to the metal detectors. Behavior detection officers also keep their eyes out for any suspicious behavior. (Behavior detection officers WHAT A JOKE, It’s total B/S!)

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