Air travel from the US / TSA Lines / Emirates issues

rookhawk

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Just planning for the final contingencies for an upcoming trip and wanted to share what I've learned.

As you may be aware US residents, the TSA is playing games right now causing many, many people to miss their flights due to incredible delays at US airports, particularly ORD and MDW recently.

Don't comprehend how serious it is? Watch this video to get the gist of how easily your trip can get screwed up by TSA this summer:


TSA says they need I believe about 7000 more employees so in return they've been funded for 683 more by mid-August.

So that leaves me and perhaps you with the logical conclusion "who can I legally pay a bribe to in order to not have my hunt ruined?". Usually, this "legal bribe" or "extortion" comes in the form of TSA Pre where you can pay around $100 and be interviewed and fingerprinted to be allowed expedited services at the airport so you don't miss your hunt due to 5 hour TSA lines. Unfortunately, TSA Precheck does not cooperate with Emirates and actual has a relatively short list of airlines that will let you into their "special lanes for people that pay the extortion" as I call it.

If flying Emirates, the only area you can shed time is on the Dubai side of the equation. Sign up for Emirates Frequent Flyer program and they will issue you a fancy blue card that is not just your loyalty card, but also has expedited clearance in Dubai provided you provide all the important info online with emirates in their frequent flyer sign-up. It doesn't shave time or reduce risk here in the USA but it does shave precious minutes if you're connecting in Dubai and it costs you nothing additional.

Hope this is helpful to someone out there.
 
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BWH

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If flying Emirates, sign up for the FF, it's free.
TSA precheck will help going out & coming back
Global Entry will speed things up coming back through customs.

I just traveled with Emirates from DFW through DXB to JNB & back.... it was a breeze.
 

rookhawk

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TSA PreCheck only works if it is explicitly printed on your boarding pass.

Here are the airlines that support TSA Pre at the largest US airports:

O'Hare
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways
  • JetBlue Airways
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • WestJet
JFK
    • Aeromexico
    • Air Canada
    • American Airlines
    • Delta Air Lines
    • Etihad Airways
    • Hawaiian Airlines
    • JetBlue Airways
    • Sun Country Airlines
    • United Airlines
    • Virgin America
    • WestJet
Dulles

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin America
Atlanta
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
Dallas / Fort Worth
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • WestJet
LAX

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • WestJet
 

JimP

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You have to figure that you are leaving on a 18+ hour flight or perhaps shorter, why not just get to the airport a lot earlier than you really need to?

Or even see if you can adjust your schedule to fly on off days instead of Monday morning or Friday night.

Usually the people that miss their flights are the same ones that are late for everything.
 

cpr0312

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I was told recently by a traveler I was speaking with on the way back from Africa, that if you get Global Entry, domestically in the US it serves as your TSA precheck. Which if traveling abroad even once per year is worth it. Wish I had know that when I got my precheck last year!
 

rookhawk

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You have to figure that you are leaving on a 18+ hour flight or perhaps shorter, why not just get to the airport a lot earlier than you really need to?

Or even see if you can adjust your schedule to fly on off days instead of Monday morning or Friday night.

Usually the people that miss their flights are the same ones that are late for everything.

Jim, you and I probably see eye to eye on issues of personal accountability. Watch the video link above and tell me if you still agree that getting there a bit early is enough to mitigate the risk in your opinion.
 

JimP

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Jim, you and I probably see eye to eye on issues of personal accountability. Watch the video link above and tell me if you still agree that getting there a bit early is enough to mitigate the risk in your opinion.

I have seen the lines at the airports. I fly out of Denver and I will walk over and look at the lines at the main TSA screening area down in the pit of the airport and then usually just head over to the secondary one that they have set up towards the concourses. You have to walk to it and if you like you can continue to walk to the terminal that your plane is at and I have never had to wait longer than a couple of minutes at that screening area even when the people down at the main one are stuck for a hour.

But also as I have mentioned I try to schedule my flights at off times. These flights are not only cheaper but less crowded as well. I know that a lot of fliers can't do this so that is why I would suggest to get there way early and just kick back and relax until their flight leaves. The last couple of years that I worked I was flying about every week at the worst of times and learned how to get around problem areas.

I have always had the philosophy of not worrying about too much. If you have the power to change the outcome then change it and if you can't then don't worry about it because it isn't in your hands.
 

CAustin

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I was told recently by a traveler I was speaking with on the way back from Africa, that if you get Global Entry, domestically in the US it serves as your TSA precheck. Which if traveling abroad even once per year is worth it. Wish I had know that when I got my precheck last year!

I have the global entry card. Delta paid for mine as one of my frequent flyer gifts. As I fly frequently, weekly, in the US I got the card so I could have TSA Pre. Sure makes getting through security easy. This trip to Zimbabwe will be the first time that I have used the Global Entry upon returning from outside the US.
As for the lines. I have not seen them in Kansas City or even Atlanta last Saturday morning. As mentioned get to the airport early for your hunt trip! I'm going three hours ahead of time just to make sure my guns are properly checked In and that there is no rush.
 

jeff

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If you fly out dinky airports like Idaho Falls Idaho or Missoula Montana like I have to your line won't be over 8-10 people long. After viewing the video it looks like I'm actually fortunate to have to leave from there!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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If you fly out dinky airports like Idaho Falls Idaho or Missoula Montana like I have to your line won't be over 8-10 people long. After viewing the video it looks like I'm actually fortunate to have to leave from there!

The beauty of a small town airport. Used to fly out of Pocatello quite a bit.
 

JimP

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If you fly out dinky airports like Idaho Falls Idaho or Missoula Montana like I have to your line won't be over 8-10 people long. After viewing the video it looks like I'm actually fortunate to have to leave from there!
The trouble there is that at times you need to go find the TSA agent in the john or asleep somewhere.
 

rookhawk

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And then we go from bad to worse. Leading Fox News story today:

TSA PreCheck program causing headaches for travelers!:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/48247354...hes-for-travelers/?intcmp=hpbt3#sp=show-clips

The major airlines United, American, Delta are spending $4m USD EACH this weekend to hire staff to send to the TSA lines to help pick up buckets and do other TSA related jobs that we and they already pay for in order to free up TSA agents to screen passengers. Why? Because the major airlines are losing their shirts on rebooking flights due to people missing their flights due to TSA lines. Can you imagine that, spending $12m USD in private corporate money this weekend to place "volunteers" at the TSA screening area to try to reduce the pain and in so doing protect each of their financial damages from this nonsense?

Crazy.
 

Bullthrower338

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I counted 20 TSA employees at Houston Hobby the other morning and they had one lane open. Government mandated inefficiency plain and simple! They were all playing grab ass like it was a mc Donald's. Quite sickening to see this and worse to have to deal with it a couple times a week!
Cody
 

Lrntolive

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I cannot understand why fellow Americans cannot see that TSA is a waste of tax money and is no safer than the previous airport security contractors. Forcing people through the scanners and these ridiculous checks is just the first step in turning us into slaves. We allow ourselves to be submitted to this non-sense without even a second thought and with every government failure, the answer is "we need more money." We're trapped because so many of us have to fly for work or to visit family, so TSA can subject us to whatever they want. I am personally sick of it.

I travel for work, also. Maybe not as much as some, but I have to do it three to four times a year. I say everyone starts to refuse the scanner and request the pat down until the airlines force TSA out.
 

rookhawk

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Read something quite hilarious on a travel blog last night.

A few of the highlights:

-Before the recent delays that just started, many individuals had to wait up to 6 months for their interview for TSA Pre or Global Entry in major U.S. Hubs. So the valid 5 year period of the permit is offset by a 6 month delay in getting it!

-The waits are so bad to get an interview that some very astute programmers made software you can install with your login and password on your UNIX/Linux/Mac based system to attempt to aggressively search for interview timeslots minute by minute in the TSA scheduling system. That's right, the RSVP system is so bad that most people can't book their appointment without it getting stolen out from under them by someone else so people are installing software that directly interfaces with the TSA application server using python scripts in order to have a shot at an interview.

Both of the former were BEFORE the long lines at the airlines! The semi-automated lookup process that begins the overall procedure now appears to be taking up to 4 weeks due to the increased demand for the TSA Pre / GE application the past two weeks.

The TSA says that the delays are only going to get worse this summer because they cannot train and deploy people quickly enough. 22% of people interviewed stated they are avoiding airtravel this summer due to the inconveniences as of recently in the US.

Just astounding so I thought I'd pass it on.

All I want to do is get to Africa with my guns and ammo and have a great safari. Way too much logistical nightmares going on here.
 

sierraone

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If you fly out dinky airports like Idaho Falls Idaho or Missoula Montana like I have to your line won't be over 8-10 people long. After viewing the video it looks like I'm actually fortunate to have to leave from there!
Same for Little Rock or Pensacola!
 

Areaonereal

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Flew out of Bloomington Illinois this morning to Atlanta then Joberg. 5 min to clear TSA, sitting in Delta Sky Club thankful for small regional airports.
 

thi9elsp

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Global Entry is like $100 for five years. That's $20 a year and includes domestic TSA Pre-check - you just enter your known traveler number at time of booking or on your FF profile. Considering the overall cost of an international hunting trip that's cheap. So, why try to play the game and get TSA Pre-check free through the airline? You do have to plan in advance to allow time to get through the process - that to me is no different than planning your hunt.

I've had mine for two years and it is a god send - interview scheduling was quick back then. I've told Ann to get hers since before we went to New Zealand last year. She finally applied in mid-April this year, was accepted. When she went to schedule her interview in Tampa the earliest available was August. Still plenty of time to do the interview and get her card before we leave for Mozambique in late October.

I don't normally wait more than 5 minutes in Tampa, but maybe 15 minutes in a pre-check line - typically San Francisco, Atlanta or LaGuardia on a high business travel day such as Thursday afternoon / evening.
 

Mekaniks

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So what pisses me off about the current TSA pre-check...

I already have the following-

1. Commercial Drivers Lisence (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement. Which requires the same background checks and finger printing. It Allows me to transport all hazardous materials across state lines.

2. Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) which allows me access to secure transportation facilities across the country. It requires the same extensive background check and figure printing. Issued by DHS and It works as ID at the airport but still not "pre-check".

3. Dept of Defense (DOD) Secret security clearance for working on secure military facilities. The background check for this is far more extensive and ridged than anything TSA can come up with.

Yet they still want me to spend another 100.00 for TSA PreCheck because the agencies, even under the same umbrella, wont communicate and want the revenue.
No Thanks... I think I will continue to use the Frequent Flyer/MVP priority line at the airport.
 

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