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.