TSA Announces Faster Screening Program
According to the LA Times, the Transportation Security Administration is launching a pilot program (no pun intended) with the intent of letting average travelers (mainly non-elites and those not in the Trusted Traveler Program) speed through security. The process is expedited by not requiring selected passengers to take off shoes, belts, coats, or even remove laptops and liquids from carry-on bags.
In this pilot program, passengers are screened by both an explosive-sniffing K9, and an expert TSA agent (don’t ask me if there really is such a thing…) in detecting out of place behavior. While this is good news to most passengers, there is no guarantee that you will be able to participate.
While the TSA is looking to expand the program, it is currently only available at the Tampa and Indianapolis International Airports. In addition, it seems this would available on a limited basis, through what the TSA calls “managed inclusion.”
“What managed inclusion means is … if there’s not many people going through the PreCheck lane and there’s a long line at the regular queue, can we somehow identify those people as being lower risk and offer them the opportunity to go through PreCheck?”
Of course, the TSA has already rolled out TSA Pre-Check in many airports, as I mentioned earlier this year. So for elite frequent fliers and those enrolled in the CBP Global Entry Program, these benefits are already available. I had the chance to use Pre-Check when I was flying out of Atlanta back in September, and it was refreshing to spend a mere minute or two going through security.
Anyway, even though this is just a limited, pilot program by the TSA, it is certainly a good move in terms of granting more freedom to passengers and shortening security lines.