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TSA Expands PreCheck Program to Busiest Airports

February 9, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

Frequent flyers got some good news today: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole announced the expansion of TSA PreCheck, a passenger pre-screening initiative, to additional airports across the country following the program’s success at seven pilot locations.

With more than 336,000 passengers screened to date through TSA PreCheck lanes, this screening concept enhances security by enabling TSA to focus its efforts on passengers the agency knows less about while providing expedited screening for travelers who volunteer information about themselves prior to flying, TSA says.

“TSA PreCheck moves us closer to our goal of delivering the most effective and efficient screening by recognizing that most passengers do not pose a threat to security,” said TSA Administrator Pistole. “We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system.”

TSA PreCheck is currently operating with American Airlines at airports in Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and with Delta Air Lines at airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis. US Airways, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines are all opting in new passengers and will begin operations later this year.

As part of the initiative’s expansion, TSA PreCheck will be implemented at the following airport locations throughout 2012:
    •    Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
    •    Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
    •    Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
    •    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
    •    Denver International Airport (DEN)
    •    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
    •    George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
    •    Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
    •    Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
    •    John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
    •    LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
    •    Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
    •    Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
    •    Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
    •    Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
    •    O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
    •    Orlando International Airport (MCO)
    •    Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
    •    Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
    •    Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
    •    Portland International Airport (PDX)
    •    Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
    •    Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
    •    San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
    •    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
    •    Tampa International Airport (TPA)
    •    Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
    •    Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

TSA will continue expanding TSA PreCheck to additional airlines and airports once they are operationally ready.

Eligible participants include certain frequent flyers from participating airlines as well as members of Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS) who are U.S. citizens and fly on a participating airline.

Individuals interested in participating in the pilot can apply via Global Entry at

If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening following the TSA vetting process, information will be embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass. TSA will read the barcode at the security checkpoint and then may refer the passenger to a TSA PreCheck lane, where they will undergo expedited screening. This could include no longer removing the following items:
    •    Shoes
    •    3-1-1 compliant bag from carry-on
    •    Laptop from bag
    •    Light outerwear/jacket
    •    Belt

TSA said it will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.

As part of the agency’s risk-based security initiative, TSA said it is currently testing several other screening initiatives, including initiatives designed to provide positive ID verification for airline pilots and the use of expanded behavior detection techniques.


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About the Author

George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | February 9, 2012
Passenger pre-screening initiative will benefit frequent flyers.