The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now allows travelers to bypass regular pre-flight security procedures, such as body scanners and pat-downs, for the convenient price of $85.
Paying this fee enrolls you in the “trusted traveler” program known as TSA PreCheck. You won’t have to remove your shoes, jacket and belt during a screening and you can even keep your laptop and approved liquids in your bags when they go through the detector.
To qualify for the program, you must first provide identifying information, pass a background check, and even undergo a fingerprinting test.
Then comes the $85, which earns you a five-year pass through the aforementioned security procedures.
TSA administrator John Pistole said Friday that enrollment will be open to the public sometime in the next few months. He expects three million people to sign up before the end of the year.
About 12 million people, all of whom are members of recognized frequent-flier programs, are currently enrolled.
If Pistole’s estimates are correct, the TSA will make roughly $255 million off this deal.
To apply, visit a PreCheck enrollment site to submit identification and fingerprints. Fliers will be able to enroll at Washington Dulles International and Indianapolis International airports later this year.
“America’s travel community applauds TSA for making its highly-successful trusted traveler program, PreCheck, more accessible to the traveling public,” US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “By expanding PreCheck enrollment options, today’s action by TSA will help speed more Americans safely through the US air travel system while strengthening America’s aviation security. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
After passing all identification steps and submitting the fee, PreCheck members then receive a Known Traveler Number that grants them access to special security lanes at the 40 participating airports in the United States.
Though Pistole did not explain the main reason the program was launched, we can assume that it was at least in part due to an onslaught of complaints from passengers claiming that TSA screenings have gotten much more intrusive as of late.
Several women have cited pat-downs where TSA agents groped their genital region and breasts.
There is, however, one last catch. If a passenger appears to be overtly “suspicious” PreCheck members can still be subjected to “random and unpredictable” searches and pat-downs, according a recently released statement.
Via: RT, Photo Courtesy: Tumblr