LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ)– Shorter airport security lines. That’s the goal of a new TSA program that will streamline some fliers through checkpoints.
Andrea Fujii has the story from BWI Marshall Airport.
Starting this fall, the TSA will pre-screen some frequent fliers then provide them access to expedited security in the trusted traveler program.
“The vast majority of people pose no threat to civil aviation and so how can we identify those people before they get to the airport,” John Pistole, TSA administrator, said.
Eligible passengers include frequent Delta fliers in Atlanta and Detroit, and frequent American Airlines passengers in Miami and Dallas.
“Certainly, I’d appreciate an express lane,” said one traveler.
“I think it’s something that should be tried. I think it would be very helpful,” said another.
The TSA won’t say what extra information fliers must provide. Passengers will still go through metal detectors, but they may avoid a full security check.
“It won’t be a guarantee, though. We always reserve the right to be random and unpredictable in the way we do our screening so terrorists cannot game the system,” Pistole said.
Not everyone’s on board.
“It’ll give them time to focus on the untrusted travelers which means if you don’t go through a government background check you are going to be untrusted,” Michael Boyd, aviation expert, said.
The TSA expects up to 8,000 travelers will use the program each day. If it works they’ll expand it, which may mean shorter lines for everyone.
Most passengers welcome quicker security, if it’s done safely.
Airlines will contact passengers eligible for the trusted traveler program. If they choose to participate, their personal information will be shared with the TSA.