For months, TSA has been giving U.S. travelers a free pass to use the PreCheck lanes even if they have not registered, paid the fee or been approved.
This policy has served a few purposes; for example, it has been good marketing for the service and has helped relieve congestion in the regular security lanes. However, it has also put a bunch of passengers into the PreCheck lanes without instruction or an understanding of what they need to do, and it has slowed down the access that trusted travelers have paid for.
If you’ve ever been stuck behind a traveler who takes off his or her shoes and removes their laptop computer from their bag while in the PreCheck lanes, you’ll be happy to know that policy is going away. That’s what Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole told Joe Sharkey of the New York Times recently.
|More about TSA PreCheck
• My PreCheck application experience
• Navigating the PreCheck lane
• Where you can apply
More than 400,000 travelers have paid to enroll in PreCheck to date, according to the article. As a reminder, the basics: You pay an $85 fee to be enrolled for five years. Travelers must go through the TSA PreCheck application process at one of hundreds of locations, including many airports.
If the application is successful, travelers receive a Known Traveler Number, which they can add to their travel profiles to ensure that they have a chance to receive PreCheck screening for any particular trip.
And the disclaimer: Being enrolled in PreCheck is not a guarantee you would sail through security every time, because the TSA will still employ randomness as a security measure.