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The Transportation Security Administration is offering a program to eligible US citizens, flying from a US airport, that may make security checks run more efficiently. The TSA Pre✓™ is a security plan that will enable select frequent flyers to receive accelerated screening at participating airports. Specific lanes will be set up for expedited screening, and participants in the program can avoid some of the current security guidelines of the TSA.

Program Overview

TSA Pre✓™ implements the agency’s traditional approach to airline security through risk management. By allowing prescreened passengers to travel through the security check more quickly, TSA officials can focus more on individuals who are likely to pose a threat. The security administration has partnered with a number of U.S. air carriers as well as the United States Customs and Border Protection to carry out this initiative.

Participants in the TSA Pre✓™ program may enter reserved security checkpoint lanes, and they will receive a variety of benefits that other passengers will not. Eligible flyers may no longer need to remove shoes, belts or outerwear, and they may also be able to keep laptops and 3-1-1 compliant bags in carryon luggage. However, security agencies will continue to perform random checks, so no passenger is guaranteed expedited screening.

Eligibility and Participation

Certain frequent travelers on Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines will be authorized to take part in the TSA Pre✓™. Additionally, select members of various Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs, including SENTRI, NEXUS and Global Entry, will be eligible. Children under the age of 13 may be allowed through prescreen lanes with qualifying passengers as well.

Some flyers of the participating airlines will be permitted to opt-in to the program if they meet specific criteria determined by the TSA. Once a passenger opts-in, he or she will be recognized as a participant. Anyone traveling with an approved TSA Pre✓™ itinerary will need to enter the appropriate security screening lane in order to finalize the verification of eligibility.

Notification of Eligibility

The TSA has approved advanced notification of eligibility for passengers traveling with Delta Air Lines, US Airways and United Airlines. An individual with permission to take part in the TSA Pre✓™ program will receive a boarding pass with the authorization embedded into it. The passenger should present the pass to a TSA agent at the designated checkpoint. The agent will approve expedited screening if the program is available at that airport.

Boarding pass notification of eligibility is currently available to Delta Air Lines and United Airlines passengers checking in through mobile devices, certain airport kiosks and airline websites. Travelers of US Airways may see the authorization on boarding passes printed from web-based and mobile-based check-in services. Each airline provides a different type of eligibility indicator on the boarding pass.

Expansion Plans

The TSA intends to expand the program and include additional airports and airlines once the system is operating more fully. The success of the program as well as the risk management it offers will determine how many more airlines take part in it. As the TSA Pre✓™ expands, the number of airlines providing advanced notifications of prescreening eligibility will also increase.

The mission of the TSA is to efficiently and effectively safeguard passengers and airline employees traveling on planes and through airports. Providing travelers with notifications in advance can eliminate some confusion at the security checkpoints. Passengers will be able to go directly to the appropriate screening lane without disrupting the flow of the system.

Airport Availability

Currently the TSA Pre✓™ is available at more than 40 airports located throughout the nation. Detailed information about which cities and airports participate in the program is at the TSA website. Expedited screening is available to qualified passengers traveling within the country, but some airlines authorize participation for those traveling internationally from the U.S.

This accelerated security screening program may enhance the experience of both travelers and TSA agents. With the predetermined approvals in place, security personnel can concentrate on passengers who may be more of a risk. An individual who commits specific offenses may be denied participation, so essential safety measures are still in play with the expedited screening.

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