• TSA PreCheck program continues to expand

    Looking for a quicker way to get through airport security in the United States? As we covered back in December, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently introduced its PreCheck program as a way to offer expedited security screening to eligible members. To participate in this voluntary program, travelers undergo a pre-screening process to determine their eligibility. If they are deemed eligible to participate, those travelers may then be granted access to select security lanes at participating airports, where they receive expedited screening, which may mean they do not have to remove their shoes, belt or jacket, and do not have to remove their laptop and liquids (in a 3-1-1-compliant bag), from their luggage.

    Security checkpointI’ve had the opportunity to use the TSA PreCheck lanes in my recent travels, and so far my experience has been highly positive. The challenge with the standard security lanes is all of the coordination of taking your laptop out of the bag, shoes and jacket off, and removing you bag of liquids. It requires some planning as you approach the checkpoint, and then you have to reassemble all your belongings once you get to the other side. The advantage of the PreCheck lanes is that they clean up the whole process and make it quick and easy. The laptop doesn’t have to come out, shoes and jacket stay on, and the bag of liquids remains in the luggage. The only thing I have to do it make sure I don’t have any metal on me or in my pockets and it’s smooth sailing to the other side of the checkpoint and on to my flight.

    One thing to note, though, is there’s no guarantee that you’ll always be approved to go through the PreCheck lanes. When your boarding pass is scanned at the checkpoint, you’ll be directed to the PreCheck lane if you’re approved. The TSA has emphasized that it has multiple, unpredictable security measures built into its processes, so you can’t count on getting access to the PreCheck lanes every time.

    As of today, the program is available to eligible participants at the following airports:

    • Atlanta (ATL): T-South Checkpoint (Delta only)
    • Chicago (ORD): Terminal 3, Checkpoint 8 (American only)
    • Dallas (DFW): Terminal C, Checkpoint C30 (American only)
    • Detroit (DTW): Checkpoint 2 on the ticketing level (Delta only)
    • John F. Kennedy (JFK): Terminal 8 Main Checkpoint (American only)
    • LaGuardia Airport (LGA): Delta Main Checkpoint (Delta only)
    • Las Vegas (LAS): D Gates First Class Checkpoint (American and Delta)
    • Los Angeles (LAX): TSA Pre✓™ screening lane (American only)
    • Miami (MIA): D2 Checkpoint (American only)
    • Minneapolis (MSP): Lindbergh Terminal, Checkpoint 4 (American and Delta)
    • Salt Lake City (SLC): Terminal 2 Checkpoint (Delta only)
    • Seattle (SEA): Checkpoint 5 North (Alaska only)
    • Washington D.C. (DCA): Terminal B, South Checkpoint for gates 10-22 (Delta and Active Duty U.S. Military only)

     

    The TSA is planning to expand the program to additional airports throughout 2012. A full list of those airport locations, as well as additional information about the program, is available here. According to the TSA, “Certain frequent flyers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and certain members of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS who are U.S. citizens are eligible to participate.”

    As noted in the list above, and as the TSA recently announced on its blog, the TSA has partnered with the Department of Defense to offer active duty service members in the U.S. Armed Forces flying out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) access to the expedited screening as well. Additional information for active duty service members, including the necessary documentation they need to present at the checkpoint, is available from the TSA here.

    Are you a member of the program? What do you think of it so far?

4 Responsesso far.

  1. Katia says:

    I can’t seem to find the answer to one important question: if I am registered for TSA Precheck through American Airlines, will it work when I fly on Delta as well? Or do I have to be registered through Delta separately? Does anyone out there know the answer?

  2. John says:

    You should be good to go registering just once. I originally got into the program via AA but have used it on Delta flights as well.

  3. HUGH T MCQUADE says:

    I have the Trusted Travelers pass. Do I still have to wait in that long security line or is there a seperate line for us. We will be flying out of Detroit Metro on Delta. And where is checkpoint 2?

    Thanks,

    Hugh

  4. Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for the question. According to the TSA, eligible passengers who have opted into TSA Pre Check should use specific checkpoints designated for expedited screening. At Detroit Metro, that’s checkpoint 2, which is on the ticketing level in the McNamara Terminal. Most airports have signage indicating where the TSA Pre Check lane is.

    Just one thing to keep in mind: TSA states that they “always incorporate random and unpredictable screening measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.” When your boarding pass is scanned at the security checkpoint, you’ll be directed through the Pre Check lane if you’re approved.

    Safe Travels!