TSA Adding Airports to Faster Security Pilot Program

UPDATE – Feb. 8, 2012: The TSA’s expedited PreCheck security screening is proving to be such a success that the agency plans to add 28 more airports to the program during 2012 including Newark, JFK, LaGuardia, Chicago’s O’Hare and Washington Dulles. More airlines will be opting into the program, too, as US Airways, United and Alaska join American and Delta as participants.

PREVIOUSLY: The TSA will add three new airports to its PreCheck pilot program which gives select passengers a faster security experience: Las Vegas McCarran (LAS), Los Angeles International (LAX) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). PreCheck will get underway in Vegas in December, while LAX and Minneapolis will go online sometime shortly after the new year. The program is already in place in Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit and Miami.

Do Some Travelers Get Special Treatment at Security? Yes.

Who is Eligible for the Faster Security Lanes

At the moment, the PreCheck program involves just a small group of specially chosen volunteers who are frequent flyers and frequently fly in or outĀ of the airports listed above. They must also belong to one or more of the following programs:

  • Elite member of Delta’s SkyMiles
  • Elite member of American’s AAdvantage
  • One of these government programs: Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI

Non-frequent flyers will not be considered for PreCheck, or not at the moment anyway.

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What Flyers Give Up for Faster Screening

Those who participate receive faster security lane service in exchange for disclosing some personal information and/or future travel plans. And it should be noted that expedited screening is not always guaranteed. Some of these frequent flyers may occasionally be ushered into the regular security lines with the rest of us. However, the TSA says the program is very popular, and they expect even more expansion of this pilot program in the future.

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Published: February 8, 2011