The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and other industry organizations are voicing their support for the TSA Modernization Act. The organizations have sent a letter to the Senate Leadership urging support for the bill, which they say will advance the deployment of new technologies at security checkpoints, mitigate risks to public areas at airports, and reduce delays in air travel. The bill would also give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tools to expand the TSA PreCheck trusted traveler program.
“ASTA strongly supports efforts to expand the PreCheck program to the broadest possible proportion of the flying public while maintaining a high level of security, and in our view S. 1872 does just that,” said ASTA EVP of Advocacy Eben Peck in a written release. “We believe travel agencies can play a critical role in expanding PreCheck coverage, given that agencies continue to sell well over 50 percent of all air travel in the U.S. and perhaps more importantly that travel agency clients fall squarely into the TSA’s frequent flyer target market for the upcoming expansion. Agencies know who these ‘road warriors’ are and when, where and how often they fly.”
According to ASTA’s Value of Travel Agents Study, which was performed by MMGY Global in February 2014, travel agency clients fly more than the general public -- 4.7 trips vs. 3.6 trips per year for leisure travel and 5.8 trips for agency clients vs. 4.1 trips per year for business. According to ASTA’s 2017 How America Travels study, half of Americans support how the TSA is performing on airport security.
“The TSA Modernization Act is a step in the right direction,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, in a written release. “When it comes to business travel, we need to adopt policies that support our business travelers and help the industry grow. The bill would give TSA increased flexibility to mitigate future threats and safely facilitate travel. Specifically, the bill would provide TSA with new tools to securely expand PreCheck and drive enrollment, a key goal for the travel community.”