BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There’s good news for frequent flyers traveling through BWI-Marshall Airport. Getting through security may soon be a lot faster thanks to a new program the airport will take part in this year.

Derek Valcourt explains how it works and who is eligible.

Security officials call it a good deal. You give them some information about yourself ahead of time, and in return you get in the security express lane.

The TSA is expanding their trusted traveler program. Frequent flyers will be able to up sign up ahead of time for a prescreening background check. Those who pass won’t have to wait in those long TSA lines and won’t have to take off their shoes, jackets and belts when they go through security.

“So this is all voluntary. If you are a frequent flyer you fly 200,000 miles a year. [If] you don’t want to be considered for that, [if] you don’t want to share any of that information, that’s fine,” said TSA Chief John Pistole.

The program has already been tested in a few select cities around the country, and they are adding the program to 28 other airports, including BWI-Marshall this year.

“Expanding GSA precheck is more than just about speeding up travel.  It’s part of a fundamental shift in how we approach aviation security,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

At BWI-Marshall, most travelers are excited about the plan, but a few have reservations.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially for people like me going to college and back home a lot. It would be very convenient,” said Brady Mullis.

“I don’t think anybody should move in haste when it comes to security,” said Harriet Halmon.

But it’s bad news for Southwest Airlines’ frequent flyers.  The company, which has more flights out of BWI than any other airline, says they won’t be taking part in the trusted traveler program– at least for now.  The company says they have their hands full working on their merger with AirTran.

There’s no word on exactly when the program will be up and running at BWI. But it is expected to be fully in place by year’s end.

Comments (5)
  1. Bill Fisher says:

    For the past year TSA has insisted that everyone must be subjected to the same security procedures, whether a child, elderly grandmother or US Senator.

    Now they are letting the privileged buy their way out of the program. TSA is saying that wealthy people are “more equal” than the rest of us. This smacks of racism and government extortion.

    If you are “invited” you must pay a fee and give them your financial information even though TSA has lost the personal information of their employees and accidentally published their secret procedures. For this you MIGHT get expedited screening but could be selected for further screening anyway. What a bargain.

    If someone can buy their way out of screening then this is all security theater that is gratuitously harassing passengers. Congress must demand that TSA adopt sensible and respectful procedures for everyone, not just the wealthy.

    TSA Crimes & Abuses

    1. Michael Spencer says:

      You`re right on the money Bill Fisher. I recall a quote from George Orwell s 1984 novel ”All animals are equal but some are more equal than others” t

  2. Card says:

    So now the Terrorist will have to Fly 200,000 miles BEFORE they Blow Stuff up???

    Dumb Idea TSA!!!

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