Checked Baggage/Pre Check

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by over9001, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. over9001

    over9001 New Member

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    Do any of you (NROTC mostly) have experience with checked baggage and/ror TSA Pre Check with different airlines? I have a CaC card and have entered my DoD ID under the known traveler info to sign up for TSA Pre Check. I will see if this works when I get home. Do midshipmen get free checked bags? United policy says that active military personnel get up to 3 checked bags free without orders.
     
  2. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I'm not NROTC, but have done the TSA pre-check with my ID # as well.

    Can't speak exactly to United's policies, but most offer free checked bags when you present your ID. I think they usually allow more bags if you are traveling on orders rather than just personal travel, but it all depends on the airline. I believe when I flew on American Airlines recently it was 3 bags without orders and 5 with, but I could be remembering wrong. I've done the same with United too, but don't remember how many bags they allowed.
     
  3. k2rider

    k2rider Member

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    I know my son does TSA pre-check with Southwest but he has to call them and have them enter it. For now, they don't charge for baggage.
     
  4. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    K2,

    Does your son have an online rewards account for Southwest? If so, he can enter his CAC number in the Known Traveler number field and when he makes reservations in the future they will automatically have it. My son just recently did this and it works great....

    He also has the Southwest Iphone app so he can check-in from his phone and save the boarding pass as an image to his phone that he uses instead of a paper copy. This also is a very convenient feature.
     
  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    There a number of threads on this subject on the various service academy forums - you can search for some additional information.

    I am a frequent traveler and fly all the major airlines. Regarding checked baggage: I have seen every twist of this question imaginable. Uniform or not? Orders or not? Active duty or not? You will find incredibly pro-military airline/ TSA folks and some who are much less so.

    My advice: check the airlines published policy first. Know what it says. Understand that you will run into well-trained agents along with those less so. Be courteous and show your military ID (whatever one you might have) and explain yourself. If you have orders, show those. If you feel you are being denied free baggage against stated policy ask to speak to a supervisor. Act with tact, professionalism and poise. They will almost always give you what you want.

    Many airline employees have a great deal of authority to waive all kinds of fees and rules. They will "break the rules" if they like you, the military, etc. Even if you are not "officially" supposed to get free baggage they will often give you a break anyway. Its always worth asking for - you never know what may happen.

    Regarding TSA and Pre-check: my gosh, it is a complete mystery. It can vary from airport to airport, shift to shift, agent to agent. If you can get past the initial checkpoint and get into line, you have a good shot. Many TSA are prior military and that helps. My personal experience is that United and Delta (in the hub cities) are very quick to allow military personal into the pre-check line and are generally very military friendly.

    Editorial comment: I often think the best defense the TSA provides is the very inconsistent nature in which they enforce rules and procedures. Good luck trying to figure out a pattern!

    Wishing you safe travels and happy holidays!
     
  6. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    My DS flew home from WP on United for Thanksgiving. His airline reservations were made without the CaC #, then the # was entered in later, and he received TSA PreCheck on both flights. I think it is still airport dependent for TSA PreCheck, but if the number is in your reservation and you show your military ID, you have good chance of getting it. It does have to be printed on your Boarding Pass.

    My DS didn't check luggage. Your best bet is to print out the rules from the United policy online, then bring it with you to the airport. You may still get that one airline worker who wants to argue that you are not military (being in NROTC) even though you have a CaC #, and then you may have to pay luggage fees. I have heard stories of this from WP cadets (in & out of uniform) having to pay luggage fees.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree ca2mid.

    I know with my DS that is AD and Bullet when he was AD, they were never allowed free or extra baggage unless on orders.

    You are in ROTC and will be traveling for pleasure, so my guess is be prepared to pay for your luggage if that is their policy.

    Most ticket agents are accustomed to seeing military CaC IDs, and typically in my experience, the very next question is can I see your orders? The minute you say you are not on orders, it becomes the discretion of the agent impo.
    ~ Some agents might automatically assume you are if you have what the AF calls an A3 bag(don't know what NROTC calls it). Most people don't own green or sand collapsible luggage. Only military members do or those that like to shop at surplus stores!

    My family and I always laugh when we go through the screening because for whatever reason Bullet is always the one they pull out of the line for additional screening, that is until lately with the full body screening.

    Only United can tell you, but be prepared to pay.

    OBTW, if you don't know yet, but if you have a long layover or arrive early for whatever reason, the airport might have a USO lounge. Just show your CaC and you should be able to enter. Much more comfy than the typical wait at the gate chairs. Many have free snacks, TVs and WiFi to connect to. It all depends on the airport. Some airports have better amenities because they have more traffic...I.E. Raleigh has a good one because those members being assigned to Pope, Bragg or LeJeune will fly into that airport. BWI has a nice one because it is the staging area for many members being deployed overseas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    +1 Pima

    I may not have been as clear as this line from Pima's post but its spot on. NROTC traveling home for the holidays probably will not meet United's policy per se. It never hurts to try but be prepared to pay.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just want to add....look at your CaC card...does it say AD?

    That is where the devil in the details occur. Reserve or Guard also aren't AD.
     
  10. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    PIMA, I agree with what you've said as it's always good to be prepared for everything. However, most of the airlines I've ever flown (excluding the international ones) have had policies that distinct between on orders and not for free baggage. I don't remember the exact airline, but when I flew with them their policy was 3 bags without orders, up to 5 with. It most certainly depends on the gate agent, the airline, and the city you're flying out of, so I agree to definitely be prepared to cite and show company policy.

    The CAC cards don't designate between AD, NG, and RC. All active members of the RA, NG, and RC get CAC Cards. There are the Uniformed Services ID Cards (those laminated paper ones) that are used for different classifications but not for those currently in one of the components.

    Surprising that you're DS and DH weren't allowed extra baggage. I had a gate agent last year practically begging me to show my ID so she could waive bag fees, but once again depends on the agent.

    TSA is a whole different story, and I honestly enjoy dealing with them as a form of comedic relief. I was in line for immigration in Atlanta a few months back and presented my official passport to go through the separate line and the gate agent quickly snapped for me to get back in the proper line. I tried to explain to her why I was going into that line and what type of passport I had. She did not even know there were different types of U.S passports and what they meant. They're a fun bunch.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The same thing happened to Bullet last year on his return from Israel. He looked at the TSA agent and said do you not see this is a RED passport with the words diplomat on it and it is, not blue?

    Even then he was pulled out and had the dogs sniff his luggage. One dog went crazy because before he left for the trip our cat hid in the bag. Yes, he found her before closing the bag, but I guess she left a scent anyway.

    They must have changed the CaC. Bullet has a CAC and his retiree ID. His CaC says he is civilian. I recall when he was ADAF it said his rank, and that is what I meant by it is not AD and if they are sticklers than it can be an issue. Our DS being a dependent didn't get a CaC until he graduated because he already had a military dependent I'd and if he took it he would have to hand in his dependent ID and didn't see the benefit of doing so.
    ~ Let's be honest the holiday season is where they will have a lot of travelers and can make more money aka profit, by being sticklers on the baggage rules. There have been several threads on this site where even SA cadets in uniform on break were charged

    DS usually flies American or Delta. He has received free check in a couple of times, but on a whole, no. He got free check in when he flee home for his wedding, but I think that had more to do with him saying he was getting married than his military I.d.

    When Bullet was ADAF ànd we went overseas for a 17 day vacation. It wasn't his military ID that got our bags waived, but our AMEX credit card (platinum).
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Never got any special treatment with my brown "OFFICIAL PASSPORT".... I didn't know diplomatic was red, I thought it was black. What's black then?
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Maybe it is black, but I could swear it was red(maroon). Too lazy to go into our safe to see. Hr hasn't flown overseas for a year or so, so my memory could be failing. He will be pulling it out in a few months so I will look than.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So curiosity got the best of me. Black is Diplomat, but for true diplomat status, IE state department. Red is for government on official business.

    Interesting that they now give brown to military members and their dependents. When Bullet was first in, we all got the blue passport when he was stationed overseas.
    ~ That was when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and I think they did so because of the fear of international planes being hijacked and military members being killed like. Robert Stehem on the TWA hijacking.

    It was drilled into our heads that even when we lived overseas he should get an additional blue passport to travel privately, even though he could use the one they gave him. Don't know why, but that was what they suggested....my guess is the govt one is 5 years and the personal one is ten years.

    Are you allowed to travel for personal reasons with a brown?
     
  15. cjs

    cjs Member

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    American does allow free baggage for military as does Delta. The weight restrictions aren't lifted on the bags with Delta unless you do are traveling on orders according to the Delta agents at the Miami airport. Both of those airlines also have different rules on how many free bags for those traveling on orders and not on orders.

    My son has Global entry so he gets the TSA precheck no matter what.

    We just flew him him on Delta on Thanksgiving and checked his bag in Miami for his return flight back to IBOLC and they said "of course we waive the fee". He is traveling home on the 20th for christmas break and will be checking the bags again. Guess we will see what Delta does this time around.
     
  16. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Are you sure they issue an official passport to dependents? It is only for official business and cannot be used for personal travel. I mean, I guess realistically you can if people don't question it, but you're not supposed to.

    In response to your previous question, there are different CAC cards for contractors, civilians, GS, SES, etc. and they denote that on the card, but the card for active service members does not specify component.

    Also, more than just DoS get the black passports, DOD members assigned to embassies get them as well (essentially what you were saying just wanted to include those assigned to DoS offices, etc.). And it doesn't necessarily grant them any status in a foreign nation. Very few carrying those passports actually have any immunity or those protections.

    Edit to add: Pima, are differentiating between red and brown passports? Unless something has changed in the past few months, they are the same. Only the passport is technically labeled brown but looks more red so people sometimes interchange the two.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Also, the brown (red) passports aren't given to everyone in the military (and not their dependents). I had a brown passport for stuff I did with the Pentagon. Otherwise, a CAC and orders was what we used (and a blue tourist passport). There are a lot of restrictions on the brown (and I'm sure black) passports.

    Side note: the off colors aren't "great". If you're ever in some kind of hostile situation, a terrorist attack, hijacking or hostage situation, having a "special" passport can make you a target. A black or brown U.S. passport isn't something you really want to flash around overseas.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    An excellent point that was also alluded to by Pima earlier on this thread. Guess there is no point to arguing with the kid about an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tat on his back anymore. :frown:
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Exactly kinnem!

    You might feel special, but the flip side is you also can be at a higher risk.

    After the CIA report that was released I wouldn't be surprised if they go back to Blue passports. Overseas bases/posts are on heightened awareness.

    LITS,
    I looked it up. There is a brown and a red. Bullets could not be mistaken as brown in any manner or way. Okay maybe if you have color vision deficiency!:shake:

    There you go...the TSA agents had color vision deficiencies!:rolleyes:

    JMPO, I think they should go back to the blue for military members. Than again the high and tight screams military and if a hijacker asks for their wallet...well...you see where I am going don't you?
     

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