Despite program success, some travelers still uncertain about PreCheck

June 6, 2014 |

There are 118 U S. airports with expedited screenings lines accessible through PreCheck. According to USA Today, those who go out on frequent business travel have developed a love-hate relationship with the program as more passengers who don’t participate in the program are selected at random to move through the PreCheck lines.

While passengers have applauded the program for its efficiency and helping them to even catch a flight after arriving to the airport late, some troubles have arisen since Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel began allowing non-approved travelers to move through the lines. The source stated that people who aren’t PreCheck-approved slow down the lines because they don’t know what to do. As a result, TSA officials have to take the time to explain to passengers they’re allowed to keep on their shoes and don’t have to take laptops out of carry-on luggage.

Some frequent fliers said that not explaining the procedures of PreCheck lines to non-approved travelers may end up causing harm to the program’s effectiveness, USA Today reported.

There are currently more than 273,400 passengers enrolled in PreCheck, according to USA Today. The millions of travelers who are also enrolled in other U.S. Customs and Border Patrol programs such as Global Entry are automatically eligible to enroll in PreCheck.

There is no limit on the number of passengers that can enroll in the program. There is an $85 application fee and once travelers are given approval, participation in program lasts for five years.

The goal of PreCheck is to get passengers through security in five minutes or less, which is half the amount of time it takes to get through regular security lines.

There are two ways that non-approved PreCheck passengers can be chosen to move through the quicker lines: a computer risk assessment and randomly being chosen after being perceived as lower risk by TSA personnel.

TSA protects travelers
In a USA Today opinion piece, TSA federal security director at Southwest Florida International Airport and Punta Gorda Airport Robert Cohen said the agency’s personnel work in making travel safer for passengers.

Every day, without fail, the men and women of TSA demonstrate an exceptional capability to protect the traveling public and regulate airports and airlines to ensure compliance with federal regulations,” Cohen said. “Their commitment to mission and daily actions exemplify the character and integrity of our federal employees. They have a tough job and know there is no margin for error.”

TSA employees are trained for a variety of scenarios and how to aid passenger evacuation when necessary.