When asked about the “Pre-Check”, TSA employees say that selection is random. Listen up folks – IT IS NOT RANDOM! It is so far from random it’s not even funny.

Why do I point this out? Language is important. In this case, the pool of people approved for the “Pre-Check” based on what the government and the airlines know about you. If you are deemed low risk, you get in the pool. Once you are in the pool, you are randomly kicked out (deselected) and must go through the same screening as everyone who isn’t in the low-risk pool in the first place. It introduces a measure of unpredictability for the traveler-just in case you aren’t as low risk as you appear.

If you aren’t identified as low risk, it doesn’t mean the airlines and TSA think you are high risk. It could be they don’t have enough data on you to know or that it isn’t consistent enough for their algorithms. No need for panic.

I bring it up because I watched an irate passenger verbally flog an airport employee because they had never gotten in the pre-check line. Screaming he said, “if it’s random I would have gotten in it by now!” It isn’t random selection. It is random de-selection.

The irate guy in line isn’t improving his odds of getting into the low-risk pool. Even if you are in it, you could be randomly booted out – c’est la vie.

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