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TSA Expanding Its Trusted Traveler 'PreCheck' Program

January 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM | by | ()

Last October we told you about the nascent PreCheck program that TSA was in the process of soft-launching. The airport security pilot program was designed to provide "expedited screening" for some passengers—specifically, those who were willing to provide personal information beforehand—while still ensuring "random and unpredictable security measures" for everyone. The idea was that, on the whole and all things being equal, frequent passengers would be able to get pre-screened and then avail themselves of faster lines at the airport. A little privacy for a lot of convenience.

Now PreCheck is expanding. Originally the program was only available to Delta and American fliers at a limited number of airports, with the eligibility list culled from the rolls of those airlines' frequent fliers. In 2012 you can expect to see the program at more airports—including, finally, LAX and JFK. There will also be new airlines involved, with travelers from US Airways and United joining the program.

The list of benefits for PreChecking'ing are said to include a whole host of conveniences, from keeping on belts and shoes, to not having to take laptops and liquids out of their bags. We're not sure how much time those things actually take for seasoned travelers, but we're not going to complain. There are also rumors of expedited lines.

Passengers, of course, aren't the only ones who TSA wants to move faster. Along with PreCheck last October, the agency also launched a plan to let pilots avoid regular security lines. The specific goals of the "Known Crewmember" program involved (a) speeding everything up and (b) getting travelers to stop glaring at the pilots who were cutting in front of the lines. The broad overall goal, explained at the time, was to "focus the heaviest screening on the riskiest travelers."

PreCheck is another welcome piece of that puzzle.

[Photo: CBS News]

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