News

More travelers can keep shoes on in airports

More travelers can keep shoes on in airports

A traveler removes his shoes before going through a security check point at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, February, 29, 2012. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Burton

By Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The agency that screens U.S. airline passengers for security clearance said on Wednesday it would expand an expedited program to 60 more airports this year, allowing tens of millions of travelers to keep on their shoes and belts at airport checkpoints.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said its TSA PreCheck program will operate at 100 airports in 42 U.S. states plus Guam and Puerto Rico. The agency also plans to expand the number of TSA PreCheck lanes at the existing 40 airports in the coming weeks.

With TSA PreCheck, pre-approved airline travelers may leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt while they go through security. They do not have to remove laptop computers from cases or take out approved-sized liquids out of carry-on bags before the bags are screened.

“As TSA continues to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, we are looking for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible,” TSA Administrator John Pistole said.

Passengers who are eligible for PreCheck include U.S. citizens of frequent traveler programs who are invited to apply by participating airlines including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

Additionally, U.S. citizens who are members of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler program and Canadian citizens who are members of the NEXUS expedited travel program qualify to participate.

The TSA will launch an application program later this year for PreCheck, which lets travelers fill out an online application and provide fingerprints. Applicants must pay an $85 enrollment fee for a five-year term of eligibility.

If a passenger is approved for PreCheck, a TSA PreCheck indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass, allowing the passenger to move to the expedited screening line.

TSA can revoke or suspend the PreCheck if a passenger has had security issues at the gate or has committed a crime since a PreCheck was granted, a TSA official said. In addition, TSA could randomly require a PreCheck passenger to go through regular security.

The TSA said to date, more than 15 million passengers have experienced TSA PreCheck since it was launched in October 2011. But this is still just a small fraction of the 2 million passengers each day passing through U. S. Airports.

The U.S. Travel Association, a travel industry group, has praised the TSA for launching PreCheck and for speeding the process through airports by removing low-risk travelers from the regular screening process.

Erik Hansen director of domestic policy for the association, said the challenge will be to get more people to enroll in PreCheck to speed the security screening process.

Recent Headlines

13 mins ago in Music

Beyoncé has a sixth No. 1 album

Fresh
beyonce666068581974

The "Drunk in Love" hitmaker is the only artist to reach number one with their first six studio albums.

17 mins ago in Music

Rachel Platten wins an Emmy

Fresh
rachelplatten618974765209

The "Fight Song" hitmaker can add Emmy award winner to her list of accomplishments.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

‘Ghostbusters’ reboot is ‘most disliked’ trailer of all time

Fresh
25-overlay-1

The trailer for the all-female remake of the classic 1984 comedy hits theaters this summer.

1 hour ago in Music

Gwen Stefani says new tour will be ‘magic’

Fresh
gwenstefani

"The Voice" star is gearing up to embark on her first solo tour in nearly a decade.

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Kit Harington apologizes to ‘Game of Thrones’ fans

Fresh
kitharington329072196370

SPOILER ALERT: The British actor has been insisting that Jon Snow was dead for months, since the end of the 2015 season, when it appeared he had been killed off.