TSA ex­pands PreCheck screen­ing pro­gramme to in­ter­na­tional air­lines


The US Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TSA) is ex­pand­ing its PreCheck screen­ing pro­gramme to pas­sen­gers on in­ter­na­tional air­lines. Air Canada is the first in­ter­na­tional car­rier to join the list of PreCheck car­ri­ers, which in­cludes Alaska Air­lines, Amer­i­can Air­lines, Delta Air Lines, Hawai­ian Air­lines, Jet­Blue Air­ways, South­west Air­lines, United Air­lines, US Air­ways, and Vir­gin Amer­ica. Pas­sen­gers in PreCheck lanes can pass through stan­dard metal de­tec­tors, not the full-body scan­ner, dur­ing se­cu­rity checks, with their shoes, belt, and light jack­ets on. They also are al­lowed to keep liq­uids and lap­tops in their bags.

PreCheck was launched in Oc­to­ber 2011 at four air­ports. It is now avail­able in 118 of the 450 US commercial air­ports. The pro­gramme was ini­tially open to fre­quent fliers of US air­lines and the 2.4 mil­lion trav­ellers en­rolled in one of the Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion’s ex­pe­dited en­try pro­grammes — Global En­try, Nexus and Sentri. Last De­cem­ber, the TSA be­gan to en­roll people di­rectly in the PreCheck pro­gramme through sta­tions at 17 air­ports and 237 off-air­port sites.

The TSA needs to have more trav­ellers en­rolled in the PreCheck pro­gramme in or­der to jus­tify hav­ing ded­i­cated lanes at 118 air­ports. Re­cently, TSA agents have been invit­ing trav­ellers to step out of nor­mal se­cu­rity lines and into PreCheck lanes. Those pas­sen­gers are ran­domly selected af­ter con­fir­ma­tion from ca­nine teams or be­hav­iour de­tec­tion of­fi­cers. The TSA be­lieves that ex­pand­ing the PreCheck pro­gramme to for­eign car­ri­ers will help re­cruit more pas­sen­gers to PreCheck sta­tus. In a re­cent TLG poll of 2,700 trav­ellers, 62 per cent of par­tic­i­pants were un­able to iden­tify whether the PreCheck pro­gramme has made any sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in wait times for se­cu­rity screen­ings.

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