The US Transportation Security Administration is expanding a program for frequent flyers where certain passenger information will be embedded in boarding pass barcodes to expedite the screening process.
Eligible passengers would be directed to TSA PreCheck security lanes at nearly three dozen US airports and would be able to forego removing shoes, jackets and belts, and would be able to keep their laptops in bags as they go through an expedited screening process.
The TSA revealed today that it was expanding the PreCheck program to nearly three dozen US airports in 2012 in cooperation with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
The program already is operational with American Airlines in Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Los Angeles Airports, and with Delta at airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas and Minneapolis.
Eligible travelers include certain members of the airlines' frequent flyer programs and members of the US Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs.
The airlines are "opting in new passengers," the TSA says.
But individuals wishing to participate in the CBP Trusted Traveler and TSA PreCheck programs can apply here.
The TSA says 336,000 passengers have been screened to date through PreCheck lanes at participating airports.
There are no guarantees of expedited screening through the PreCheck program, however, as the TSA says it will still conduct random security checks.
"We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligent-driven, risk-based transportation security system," says John Pistole, TSA administrator.
The Global Business Travel Association welcomed the news that the TSA is expanding PreCheck to an additional 28 US airports, noting that participating passengers volunteering for the program are subject to risk assessments prior to their arrival at the airport.
"The expansion of the PreCheck program is something our members have been hoping for and GBTA has been advocating for, since the pilot program was announced last summer," says Michael McCormick, executive director and COO of GBTA. "As an association, faster, more efficient and smarter travel processes that ensure the traveling public's safety are our top priority and essential for business travelers."