Rich People Skip TSA Body Scanner, Get PreCheck Access at JFK Thanks to AA “Flagship First” Entrance

AA Flagship First Dining
The menu I received for the “free” restaurant access with AA Flagship First

I don’t often purchase full-fare first class tickets, and at the beginning of the year I switched loyalty programs from American to Delta after merging with US Airways caused AA’s service to plummet (hey, who could have predicted that merger would hurt consumers?!).  So I’ve never had access to AA’s Flagship First program before, which entitles guests to ultra-premium lounge access, including no-charge “fine dining,” and a special airport entrance, for those flying in first class direct between JFK and either LAX or SFO.  But, I had some AA miles to burn and booked the flight for today.

You’ll imagine my surprise when I walked through the VIP entrance and was immediately placed in the PreCheck queue.

TSA PreCheck is designed to allow people to submit to a background check and thereafter skip the most invasive of the security the TSA imposes upon us — including the nude body scanners and full-body pat-down.  The idea is that passengers can be pre-screened to ensure that they are less of a security risk and thus it becomes unnecessary to use normal security practices.

The wisdom of PreCheck not withstanding (it relies on the premise that the government can predict who is a terrorist and who is not, a premise that I’m not sure is founded), the program is entirely undercut if one can get PreCheck benefits by splurging about $1K (or 50,000 AAdvantage miles, in my case) on a premium ticket.  American Airlines and the TSA are literally allowing flyers to buy their way out of security procedures.

In the meantime, your 80-year-old grandmother is still getting rubbed down for weapons and your 2-year-old’s baby bottle is still being tested for explosive residue.

Anything for our profits safety, right?


10 thoughts on “Rich People Skip TSA Body Scanner, Get PreCheck Access at JFK Thanks to AA “Flagship First” Entrance

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  1. I often get TSA Precheck for free when taking United SFO-EWR in coach. So it’s not always about the money.

  2. According to an article I read last night they’re also going to ramp up their abuse of the hurt and sick. People in casts and wheelchairs and with other infirmities are going to be raped even harder.

  3. Ya, that’s not how it works. Many people get Pre-Check status by luck, many with flight programs on normal cheap domestic flights also get them. It’s intentional and a way to ease congestion where they think they can do it. I have a HAZMAT endorcement on my CDL as well as a TWIC, both of which are issued by TSA and use the SAME background check they do when you sign up for Pre-Check, I always mention that to TSA when I fly and about 1/2 the time they let me through as well, I’ve been through the checks, so why not? It’s not people paying to bypass the system.

    1. Sorry, that’s not how *what* works? I literally just went through the Flagship entrance, and there was literally only one exit: straight into the PreCheck line. This is not random (“managed inclusion” as the TSA calls it) or the TSA screeners bending the rules because you have a TWIC. This is flat-out reduced security in exchange for buying an expensive ticket.

      1. Letting somebody who is in the TSA database as a vetted person is reduced security? Explain how, My TWIC gets me into the back gates of airports, I drive commercial vehicles across flight lines to get to my deliveries, it also allows my to sponsor myself for entry on many Military bases, around most vehicle inspections etc. I’ve been vetted by TSA/Homeland and therefor considered trusted. There program of letting some people through precheck who haven’t paid to be a part of precheck has been around for a while and it’s a combination of being sponsored by your airline who already has all the info they need to do this plus for a while they were trying to reduce line and make people want to pay for it. They never hid this. No different than having a drivers lic with your name, address and lic number when you enter a military base as a normal civilian, that’s all they need to clear you, does’t take a SS and fingerprints, and your airline already has this info which has already gone through federal databases when you bought that ticket. How do you think the feds are waiting for people at airports ready to take off? Managed Inclusion official ended a while ago but they have discretionary power, no different than a Police Officer on the side of the road that gives you a warning when you deserved a ticket.

  4. These white lists are a threat to liberty.

    A question: what is the min amount of clothing required for a man to pass tsa theater and avoid arrest? Is topless ok? Is a man in speedo shorts ok? He about a bikini top?

    Wondering what I have to do to avoid pat downs…

    1. The criminal laws regarding clothing vary by state. In some states, you could be naked. Additionally, if you show up nude, you’ll be accused by the TSA of interfering with the checkpoint, a civil violation. Please retain counsel to advise you first.

  5. Thanks. I’m thinking bikini top or pasties for nipples only and some small shorts. Oregon and Colorado mostly is where’d I fly from. Tried tank tops and running shorts, but still get the body scanner hit and subsequent pat down. If these machines are any good, why’d they false positive all of the time? I think they are setting them up “wrong” but on purposed to condition us to always being patted down.

    Thanks again, for your efforts.

  6. I appreciate the TSA for their efforts to keeo us safe. HOWEVER I am sick and tired of the pat downs after the scanner. I have metal in several places. Does the scanner show these. Nope! My crotch lights up??? Every single time. Its enough to make me drive everywhere.

  7. Dissolve the TSA it’s unconstitutional and in no way increases security from the method of attack that precipated the agency.

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