The call for a Trusted Traveler Program included in the “Roadmap to New Air Travel Security Screening System in United States” introduced by the U.S Travel Association (USTA) last week, won a strong endorsement from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). If enacted, U.S. Travel’s recommendations could transform the current air travel security system.
“This proposal is a thoughtful first step towards updating aviation security including the creation of a Trusted Traveler program,” said Mike McCormick, Executive Director and COO, GBTA. “While we recognize the difficulty facing travelers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airlines in regard to checked bags, we do not support the suggestion that the Department of Transportation require airlines to allow one checked bag as part of the base airfare. Airlines should be able to price their products as the market will bear.”
McCormick continued, “Our 5,000 members have been calling for a Trusted Traveler program for a long time. We are pleased that USTA has introduced a thoughtful set or recommendations for a program that will help TSA move towards a risk-based approach to checkpoint screening. Business travelers are looking for a system that can ensure safety while minimizing long lines and inefficient one-size fits all security techniques.”
The GBTA has long supported opt-in, government run programs that enhance aviation security, the GBTA noted. A GBTA survey shortly before Thanksgiving found that over seventy percent (71 percent) of the nearly one thousand travel professionals surveyed would be willing to pay for, and undergo a one-time, in-depth security check to enable them to pass through TSA securely but more quickly and efficiently. Companies around the world rely on business travel to conduct business, and global markets rely on that business for economic growth.
“We look forward to continuing this discussion with USTA, other stakeholders and government officials. The group of experts involved in this plan is proof of the uniform belief that the status quo is no longer acceptable. Business travelers need a better way to travel, and they need it now,” McCormick said.