Known Traveler Number (KTN) – What is it and Should You Get One? (June 2023)
You may have seen a Known Traveler Number (KTN) field when booking a flight; But what it is? Unless you are a member of a trusted traveler program like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you probably quickly skip over this field. Here is why all frequent travelers should have a Known Traveler Number.
What is a Known Traveler Number (KTN)?
A KTN is your membership code for the following trusted traveler programs.
This nine-digit code grants you access to expedited TSA security lanes when flying from a domestic airport. It also lets you clear customs quicker via special kiosks when returning to the United States after an international trip.
How Do I Get a Known Traveler Number?
You will be given a KTN after being approved for either TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI. Most United States citizens opt for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Those living near the Canadian border may consider applying for NEXUS because it includes Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, and other benefits; It is also cheaper than both.
- TSA PreCheck – It costs $78 for a five-year membership ($70 for online renewals). The entire process only takes one week or two for most people, so this is the fastest way to get a KTN.
- Global Entry – It costs $100 for a five-year membership ($100 for renewals). The entire process may take as long as one year. The background check and approval process are also more extensive than TSA PreCheck. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, so it is the better option for frequent international travelers.
- NEXUS – It costs $50 for a five-year membership. It includes both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. The issue is the entire process can take longer than one year. Additionally, interviews are conducted near the Canadian border; You either need to live near the border or be willing to travel to a location.
- SENTRI – It costs $122.25 for a five-year membership. It includes both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. The process takes as long as one year; It is also the most expensive trusted traveler program, and no credit cards cover the application cost.
Further Reading: TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Renewal Guide.
How Do I Find My Known Traveler Number?
TSA PreCheck members can use this link to find their KTN.
Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI members can log in to their profile at the Trusted Traveler Website. Your PASSID is also your KTN.
Additionally, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI members can find their Known Traveler Number (also known as their PASSID), on the back of their respective cards.
How Do I Use My Known Traveler Number?
It is easy to use your KTN. Here are specific circumstances where you will need it.
Using Your Known Traveler Number When Booking a New Flight to Unlock TSA PreCheck Lanes
Enter your KTN (or PASSID for Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI members) in the Known Traveler Number field when booking flights departing from a United States airport.
Frequent flyers should put their KTN in their frequent flyer profile. Doing that automatically applies the number to new bookings. Please note, adding your KTN to your frequent flyer profile will not add it to existing bookings, so you have to do that manually.
The Vacationer Tip
Make sure you enter your Known Traveler Number in the right spot. It is usually close to the Redress Number field, which confuses some travelers.
Adding Your Known Traveler Number to An Existing Flight Itinerary
You can also add your KTN to existing airline bookings. To do that, access your reservation online or via your airline’s mobile app. It’s different for each airline, but the field is usually easy to find; Look for a link to edit passenger details.
If you are having trouble finding it or need help, call or email the airline’s customer service team. They get requests like this all of the time and will be able to quickly add your KTN to your reservation.
Adding Your Known Traveler Number After Checking In
If you have checked in for your flight without entering your KTN, you are probably going to have to contact customer service. First, try to call or get in touch with the airline over the phone or via social media. If that does not work, see a customer service agent at the airport before going through security. My experience says they will be able to add it to your reservation and print you a new boarding pass with TSA PreCheck privileges.
Do I Need My Known Traveler Number to Use Global Entry Kiosks?
You do not need your KTN to use Global Entry kiosks; You may not even need your passport.
Can I Get a Known Traveler Number for Free or at a Discount?
Many travel-focused credit cards reimburse TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and NEXUS application fees. And remember, each of those memberships comes with a KTN.
Here are a few notable cards. Please note, not all of the listed cards reimburse NEXUS application fees.
- The Business Platinum Card® From American Express® (every five years; $695 annual fee)
- The Platinum Card® from American Express® (every four years; $695 annual fee)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (every four years; $95 annual fee)
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (every four years; $395 annual fee)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (every four years; $550 annual fee)
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (every five years; $450 annual fee)
- IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (every four years; $99 annual fee)
A KTN is a 9-digit code granting Trusted Traveler Members access to expedited airport security lanes like TSA PreCheck.
All members of Trusted Traveler Programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI have a KTN
Yes. Known Traveler Number memberships expire after five years.
Yes, you can add your KTN to an existing number to unlock TSA PreCheck benefits.
If your KTN is not granting you TSA PreCheck access, you should check the following.
– Did you enter your KTN correctly in your reservation?
– Is your KTN expired?
– Are you entering your name in your reservation exactly how it appears in your Trusted Traveler profile?
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
I recommend all frequent travelers apply for a Trusted Traveler Program. Global Entry and TSA PreCheck make sense for most Americans, but NEXUS is a great option for those living near the Canadian border. Each program comes with a Known Traveler Number, which unlocks powerful benefits like TSA PreCheck.
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