TSA Precheck allows more to fly through airport security


Fifteen million passengers have used TSA Precheck since it launched nearly two years ago, and now the expedited screening program is expanding. Precheck is currently at 40 airports across the country, including RDU. It will expand to 60 more airports by the end of the year to total 100.

More lanes will be added to existing Precheck lanes at RDU's Terminal Two, making traveling less of a hassle for low-risk passengers.

TSA is expanding the program currently exclusive to certain elite-level passengers like Angela Zagala. Her clearance is embedded in the barcode of her boarding pass.

"If it's going to be safe, absolutely. Why not?" Zagala said. "For somebody like me who is in and out of the airport once a week, we deserve the Precheck and there are many more people who are really low security risks."

For $85 and a fingerprint scan, anyone can now request the clearance, which is good for five years. Applicants must show a valid government-issued ID providing name, address, date of birth, and gender.

"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," said TSA administrator John Pisotle.

Some passengers say it's a nice change, but can't justify spending money for the added convenience if they aren't frequent flyers.

"If someone's willing to pay for it that's great. Would I use it? Probably not," said RDU passenger John Jensen.

On the anniversary of 9/11 when airport security was forever changed, others are sold on the idea.

"We may have went too far with some of the things we did after September 11th. It's easier to say that now but looking at it, I think the awareness is a lot better than it was prior to September 11th, so I'm comfortable with the proposed changes," RDU passenger Chris Toppin said.

The program doesn't guarantee easy screening. Even those who qualify may sometimes be directed to the regular security lane.

TSA can also revoke or suspend clearance if a passenger has security issues at the gate or commits a crime after getting approved.

» For more information on TSA Precheck and how to apply click here «

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