The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck ‘trusted traveler’ program offers expedited screening at airports to members. This allows them access to faster moving lines and reduced screening in exchange for volunteering information prior to arrival.
A five-year membership fee of $85 plus a reccuring, allows individuals to avoid taking off their shoes or removing their laptop from carry-on luggage during security screenings, which can be of great convenience to frequent business travelers. More than four million fliers currently enrolled in the program show the demand in the business travel industry for minimizing the hassle and stress of the security process.
Membership after the initial five-year period will be charged at $17 annually. Following their harmonization last year, those enrolled with Customs & Border Protection’s ‘Global Entry’ program also automatically become members of TSA PreCheck. Currently this service is available in more than 200 U.S. airports.
The biggest hurdle for travelers is the two-step application process. An online payment and application must be lodged, followed by an in-person interview at one of the TSA’s 300 application centers, or at one of the 1400 IdentGO mobile processing facilities.
Although initially available only to travelers on U.S. airlines it has proven persistently popular, and the TSA has been expanding the scheme to cover more and more carriers.
The latest airlines to become eligible are AirFrance, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Phillipine Airlines and Caribbean Sun. They join a list of participating airlines that includes many other major global carriers, such as Aeromexico, Cathay Pacific, Air Canada, Emirates, Lufthansa, Korean Air, Singapore and Virgin Atlantic. However, some large international airlines are still not eligible (British Airways and Qantas). But most large U.S. carriers are already participating, such as Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.