Flying ultra-low-cost airlines like Spirit and Frontier means a bare-bones experience in many ways, not all of them expected. While most customers know they’ll be shoehorned into no-legroom seats in exchange for rock-bottom ticket prices, they are often surprised to discover a less-publicized tradeoff: Neither Spirit nor Frontier participates in the TSA’s PreCheck program for trusted travelers.
That’s an especially glaring drawback today, in light of the TSA’s recent inability to efficiently manage security at the nation’s airports, and the resulting long lines at screening checkpoints. Enrolling in PreCheck is the only reliable way to minimize the wait times, although it’s hardly the definitive solution to the problem.
Today, travelers flying Spirit and Frontier, even if they’re enrolled in PreCheck, cannot take advantage of the expedited-processing lanes, because the software used by the two carriers isn’t linked to the TSA’s software. By July 31, that missing link will be established, allowing both carriers to participate in the program.
Frontier CEO Barry Biffle this week pledged to join PreCheck immediately; Spirit, on the other hand, will defer its participation until some time this fall.
So, Frontier flyers can look forward to a bit of relief during the latter half of the summer travel crush. Spirit flyers will have to wait.
Reader Reality Check
Are you enrolled in PreCheck?
More from SmarterTravel:
- Hey, Millennials, What’s with You and Travel Agents?
- American Sets Start Date for Spend-Based Mile Earning
- United Chases Big Spenders with New Business Class
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Top Fares From
Today's Top Travel Deals
Brought to you by ShermansTravel
Globus Tours to Greece, Ireland, France...
Avoya Travelvacation $499+
The Caribbean: Luxe, All-Inclusive Sandals Resorts...
Avoya Travelhotel $489+
Azamara Cruises Around the World w/Free...
Avoya Travelcruise $629+