Airlines & Airports - 18 min read

How to Lookup Your Known Traveler Number (Pre-Check & Global Entry)

Betty Nelson

Betty Nelson, Updated October 8, 2022

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Traveling in the post-Covid-19 era has become a lot trickier. Even though some restrictions have been reduced, certain travel requirements must be met – compulsory quarantine, PCR tests, and location tracking apps. For this reason, many people devise other means possible to make their trips easier. 

Your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is the same as your TSA number or TSA travel number. You will be given your KTN after you complete your application process and pay your processing fee of $85 to grant your interview and record you fingerprint. If you lose your number, you can look it up on the TSA Trusted Traveler Program’s Website.

Interestingly, CLEAR, NEXUS, TSA PreCheck, and Global Entry make traveling easier. As far as you have the valid documents, you’ll be excused to skip lines and expedite airport screening, thereby saving time for yourself. 

There won’t be any need to remove your laptop from its case. Also, with the TSA Precheck, you won’t have to remove your light jacket, belt, or shoes. Read on to find more interesting benefits of the Known Traveler Number.

What is a Known Traveler Number?

Transportation Security Administration

Known Traveler Number (KTN) is the basic identifier and primarily serves as the TSA number. However, those qualified for TSA PreCheck aren’t issued identification cards like members of other Trusted Traveler Programs like Nexus, Global Entry, SENTRI, etc.

The KTN is handy since it’ll be needed for every valid flight booking. With KTN, you’ll be eligible for screening benefits. Simply put, your Known Traveler Number is your membership number with the Trusted Traveler Program. 

KTN allows you to access Global Entries and TSA PreCheck security benefits. However, that depends majorly on the Trusted Traveler Program you register for. A traveler number is a 9-digit number that links the TSA PreCheck to your travel arrangements to ensure you can receive all the benefits. 

Is the Known Traveler Number the Same as TSA PreCheck?

Even though it’s not obvious, your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck number is the same as your Known Traveler Number. All you need to do is fill in your Known Traveler Number in the designated field when booking your flight. 

In most situations, you’ll not have to take your Global Entry card to access the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck lanes at the airport. However, some airports request travelers to show their physical cards before going onboard.

This development is mostly the case at airports that allow travelers with Global Entry to clear security in advance, especially for flights moving from Canada. It also happens when moving to the U.S. by car via SENTRI or NEXUS lanes.

What’s the Difference Between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Trusted Traveler Programs. Global Entry offers fast U.S. customs screening for those traveling by international flights to the U.S. On the other hand, TSA PreCheck offers efficient security screening benefits for flights leaving U.S. airports. 

Most of all, Global Entry members benefit from TSA PreCheck as a part of their membership. Therefore, after successfully completing the Global Entry application, you’ll have access to Two Trusted Traveler Programs, not just one.

Most travelers consider the expedited security screening at the airport the best benefit of the TSA PreCheck. So, it doesn’t matter whether you prefer keeping your luggage packed and your shoes on or you like finishing the airport security screening in no time; TSA PreCheck has so much in stock. If you’re a regular traveler, applying for TSA PreCheck and becoming a Trusted Traveler is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

For Global Entry, travelers who board international flights regularly consider the best benefit to be having to hasten custom processes when they return to the U.S.

If you majorly travel within the United States, your best choice is probably TSA PreCheck. Once you’re part of the TSA PreCheck membership, you’ll have access to all the benefits it offers at almost all domestic U.S. airports. 

However, if you’re confused about which is the best for you, you can find the best choice on the Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler Program’s website. 

How Do I Find My Global Entry Known Traveler Number?

You can find your Known Traveler Number on the back of your Global Entry card. If you are enrolled in SENTRI or NEXUS, you’ll find your PASSED number on the back of your card.

If it’s just TSA PreCheck that you have, log in to the Trusted Traveler Program website to access your Known Traveler Number. However, if you ever lose your SENTRI, NEXUS, or Global Entry card, you can use the Trusted Traveler Program website to find your Known Traveler Number.

All U.S. citizens, legal or national residents without a criminal record, are eligible to register for the TSA PreCheck membership program. Additionally, if you’re an immigrant, you can inquire about the steps for the application process via the Department of Homeland Security website. 

To get your Known Traveler Number, you can apply quickly online. After that, you’ll have to schedule a one-on-one TSA PreCheck interview appointment at any enrollment center nearby. You’ll need to go with your identification card and other vital documents for the appointment. The interview process is usually fair and easy. 

The proof of identity includes U.S. government-issued photo identifications such as birth certificates, passports, or driver’s licenses. Once the interview process is successful, you’ll be issued your KTN.

Is the Redress Number the Same as the Traveler Number?

The redress program is different from the Known Traveler program. Trusted Travelers are issued KTN (Known Traveler Number). Travelers that apply for redress consideration are issued a redress control number. This redress number is not the same as the Known Traveler Number.

A redress number is a 7-digit code the TSA gives to help verify a traveler’s identity and prevent them from being identified wrongly. Simply put, a Redress Control Number (RCN) is a case number that refers to a passenger’s application for redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) program.

The DHS TRIP program serves as a channel that helps to reduce the rate of misidentification among travelers. It also aids easy clarification of identity by travelers with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure no more confusion with the entire watch list of members. 

In simple terms, the redress program is set up to help travelers who may be wrongly identified as a person on the TSA Watch List. For clarification purposes, the TSA Watch List refers to a database of individuals considered a potential travel risk. It’s not the same as the No-Fly List, which lists individuals who have been outrightly banned from traveling. 

In addition, in a situation where a traveler is always listed for extra screening, it’s most likely because the TSA has wrongly identified them as a person on the TSA Watch List. So, applying for the redress program via the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry will give you a better traveling experience.

How Do I Look Up My TSA PreCheck Status?

The first step is to look for your membership card. If you’re a SENTRI, Global Entry, or NEXUS program member, your TSA PreCheck status is on the back of your card. If you’ve previously enrolled in the PreCheck program before enrolling in Global Entry, you can use your PASSED. 

Your PASSED is a 9-digit number that usually starts with 99, 98, or 15. Since the SENTRI, NEXUS, and Global Entry programs offer extra services that aren’t included in the TSA PreCheck program, enrolling in these programs comes with more benefits than enrolling in just PreCheck. 

If you’re enrolled in Precheck, check your approval letter for your status. TSA typically sends a notification whenever an enrollment into the program is approved. This letter also contains your KTN. You’ll have to explore a second option if you don’t find this letter in your records.

The second option is to go to the Trusted Traveler Program website and scroll to the bottom of the page. Search for your TSA PreCheck status. Ensure you provide the needed information exactly how you submitted it during the application process.

How Do I Add Ny TSA PreCheck to My Boarding Pass?

First, to apply for TSA PreCheck, you’ll pay a fee, submit the necessary documents (information) for a background check, and go for a one-on-one interview. The application fee is $85, and the membership period spans five years, usually $17 per year. However, a lot of travel credit cards compensate for the application fee.

Every airline has its process of adding TSA PreCheck to your boarding pass, flyer profile, or ticket. Adding the PreCheck to your boarding pass doesn’t guarantee that the number will immediately apply to your next reservation. 

Southwest Airlines 

For Southwest Airlines, to add TSA PreCheck to your boarding pass, you’ll need to follow certain steps:

  1. Enter your PreCheck number during the booking process.
  2. Choose your flight dates and time, and input your name in the “Who’s Flying” column.
  3. Then, select “Secure Traveler’s Information” and input your PreCheck number in the “Known Traveler Number” section.

Once you do all of that accordingly, your PreCheck number will be sent alongside your other personal information to TSA’s Secure Flight System for processing and approval. 

American Airlines

The simplest way to add TSA PreCheck to your boarding pass for American Airlines is to update your Advantage profile with your number. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Log in to the site and sign in to your account. 
  2. Select “information and password” and enter the necessary information. 
  3. Then, input your PreCheck number in the “Known Traveler Number” column in the “Secure Traveler” section.

If you already have an existing reservation, to add your PreCheck to your boarding pass, you’ll need to edit each flight detail manually to input your number before checking in. If you find it difficult, you can call customer service to assist you.

Also, you can add your TSA PreCheck number to your Southwest Rapid Rewards member profile. Your information will be sent automatically to the TSA as part of the booking reservations.

Why is My TSA PreCheck Not Showing On My Boarding Pass?

There are several reasons why your TSA PreCheck may not be showing on your boarding pass:

1. You Didn’t Add Your Known Traveler Number to Your Airline Account

With your KTN, you can walk through security checkpoints without taking off your jacket, shoes, belt, etc. During the TSA PreCheck sign-up process, you’ll be issued the Known Traveler Number. This number indicates that you aren’t a threat to the lives of Americans.

When you’re issued this number, you’ll need to log in to all your airline loyalty accounts and add it to the “Secure Traveler” section of your airline accounts. When you do that, you’ll automatically be eligible to book flights through American Airlines. There’s a “TSA Pre,” on your boarding pass, which signifies your TSA PreCheck status. 

Take note that you will not have access to the TSA PreCheck lane if your boarding pass doesn’t say “TSA Pre.” Even if you have membership proof (such as a NEXUS card), you will not be able to walk through the TSA PreCheck lane and show your documents to the security officer.

2. Your Identity Isn’t the Same on Your Boarding Pass

Once there’s a mistake between the name on your boarding pass and your ID, you won’t be eligible for the TSA PreCheck. For instance, if you got married recently and changed your last name, or if you forget to input your middle name when buying your ticket, the airline security algorithm will mark it as an error. 

3. You Booked an Airline That isn’t Part of the TSA PreCheck

You have to take note that not all airlines are part of the TSA PreCheck program. For instance, if you’re flying to Ireland using Aer Lingus, you won’t get past the security checkpoint without being screened.

Also, when you book a flight from a non-participating airline on a participating airline, you won’t qualify for TSA PreCheck. For example, American and Iberia airlines are partnering airlines. American Airlines is part of the TSA PreCheck program, but Iberia airlines aren’t. If you book a flight for American Airlines to Iberia, they won’t recognize that you have TSA PreCheck benefits.

4. You’re Traveling with a Baby (An Infant)

In some situations, traveling with an infant may disqualify them from accessing the benefits of TSA PreCheck. There’s no need to feel worried. You’ll have to pass the necessary screening and get on board. 

5. Your TSA PreCheck Membership Has Expired 

TSA PreCheck membership usually lasts for five years before expiration. Most travel credit cards with TSA PreCheck require credit renewal every four years or, therefore, allowing you to renew your membership before it expires. As you know, you won’t gain access to the program’s benefits when your membership expires.

6. TSA PreCheck Lanes May Not Be Open

TSA PreCheck lanes open and close at different times, depending on the airport. If you book a flight for an odd time, you may arrive at the airport and realize there’s no manned TSA PreCheck lane.

7. You Don’t Want to Leave Your 12± Year-Old Children Behind

If you’ve enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program, but your children are of age and don’t have their membership, you’ll have to forfeit your benefits and walk through the check line with them.

Children who are 12+ years are eligible to have their own TSA PreCheck membership to pass through the lane with you. You can choose to pay the $85 application fee or apply for a TSA PreCheck credit with a credit card.

Is Global Entry Linked to Your Passport?

Global Entry isn’t linked to your passport. You need detailed biographical information when setting up your Global Entry account. In some airports, you’ll need just a valid ID and passport to check in, but in others, you’ll need your Global Entry card. 

To activate your Global Entry card, log in to your Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account. After logging in, click on the “Activate Membership Card” link below the Program Memberships section. You’ll then be asked to set up a “login.gov” account.

This account requires more of your biographical information and your Known Traveler Number (KTN) or PASSED (at the back of your card). After inputting the number, the system will verify whether the number matches other information on the record. After verification, you can activate your card using the 3-digit Security Code at the back of your card. 

Is TSA PreCheck Included in Global Entry?

Yes, Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck. TSA PreCheck is an arranged form of security screening in the U.S., where members don’t need to remove their electronics from their bags or jackets from their bodies. 

This process allows eligible members to pass through a standard metal detector, not a full body scan machine. They are made to undergo random full scans where they’ll be sent to the regular security checkpoint and asked to remove their shoes and laptops. So, you may not have TSA PreCheck perks just because you have a TSA PreCheck membership. 

Can You Add Global Entry to TSA PreCheck?

As a TSA PreCheck holder, you can upgrade to Global Entry with a fee of $100. With this upgrade, you’ll have access to all TSA PreCheck benefits and easy access to enter the U.S. when you return from abroad.

Adding Global Entry to TSA PreCheck is very simple. All you need to do is log in to your Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account, complete the application, and pay the fee.

If your application is approved conditionally, you’ll be instructed to schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. Take note that each applicant is expected to schedule a separate interview.

In addition, even though Global Entry includes access to TSA Precheck, it doesn’t work reciprocally. All current TSA PreCheck members must pay to upgrade to Global Entry and undergo the same application process as any other applicant.

Does Global Entry Give You a Card?

Yes. Global Entry cards are given to Global Entry members who are citizens of the United States. The application fee for the Global Entry Program is $100. The fee is non-refundable and is due at the time of application. Most of all, it applies to adults, children, and infants alike.

Some credit cards usually refund the fee for the flyer. You need to check your issuing bank and confirm whether your credit card is qualified. Note that the membership lasts for just five years and is subject to renewal (same fee of $100).

How Long Does it Take to Get a Global Entry Card?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website states that getting a Global Entry card takes between 6 and 8 weeks. However, in some situations, some applicants have waited more than the expected wait period. Also, the 6 to 8 weeks time frame doesn’t include the interview and application process. 

The process takes as long as one year. So, it’s better to plan your proposed travel dates. You’ll need to activate the card when you’ve been issued a Global Entry card. All land border crossings require activation. 

Where is a Known Traveler Number on a Global Entry Card?

The Known Traveler Number is a nine-digit code found on the back of your Global Entry card. Eligible members of TSA can also log in to their Trusted Traveler Program account to access their KTN.

The Known Traveler Number grants you access to Global Entry lanes at sea, land, and airports. For approved Global Entry members, the Known Traveler Number is the Customs and Border Protection (PASSED).

Where Can I Find My Global Entry Number Without My Card?

If you lose your Global Entry card, you can log in to your account on the Trusted Traveler Program website to find your Global Entry number.

For members who have been approved for the TSA PreCheck Program, the Global Entry number is usually nine digits long and can be a combination of letters and numbers. It mostly begins with “TT.”

Do I Need a Global Entry Card at the Airport?

Members of the Global Entry Program are eligible for the expedited airport screening when coming to or leaving the U.S. by their Global Entry card or details from it, depending on the type of entry port they’re using. 

On arrival at the airport, members will most likely need to input details from their Global Entry card into a computerized customs form. Air passengers must scan their permanent residency card or machine-readable passport, provide fingerprints for identification purposes, and fill out a customs declaration form. 

After that, the member is given a receipt which will prompt them to move to the inspection booth for an interview or to baggage claim. 

So, if you are entering the U.S. by sea or land (especially at the Mexican or Canadian border), you’ll need the Global Entry card to finalize the processes. That’s because the card has RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology (which processes and expedites Entry).

Some seaports also process Entry and re-entry using RFID, but not all ports offer that. Therefore, it’s best to take your Global Entry card when coming into or leaving the United States at any port.

Can I Use My Global Entry Card to Fly Domestically?

Global Entry cards are valid under the new regulations, just like other forms of military ID and government-issued IDs. You can use valid passports to pass through security checkpoints for domestic flights. Some passengers still carry passports when booking international flights.

So, the Global Entry card works for both domestic and international flights. Even though it’s not so necessary to take your Global Entry card along with you to the airport, you’ll still need certain pieces of information from the card while at the customs personnel’s desk. 

If you’re not with your Global Entry card and are not traveling via land or sea, log in to your Trusted Traveler Program account to access all the information you’ll need for security processing.

What Happens If I Lose My Global Entry Card?

If your Global Entry card got damaged or misplaced, you can request a new one via your Trusted Travelers Program (TTP) account.

To request a new Global Entry card:

  • Log into your TTP account 
  • Select the “replace card” option under the Program Membership section. 
  • Then, select the reason for your action. Take note that you’ll have to pay a $25 replacement fee before a new card is issued and sent to the email address on your profile. For security reasons, the cards are sent via mail in plain white envelopes and are not forwarded.

However, since the physical card isn’t required at airports in the United States, you can log in to your TTP account and get the necessary details to submit at the checkpoint.

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