TSA to Eliminate Random PreCheck Access, Focus on Prescreened, Registered Travelers

By Jesse Sokolow on 6 August 2014
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A PreCheck lane at LAX

A PreCheck lane at LAX

The Transportation Security Administration announced that it would soon be discontinuing its practice of allowing randomly selected passengers to use its PreCheck security lanes.

In an interview with the New York Times last week, TSA administrator John S. Pistole said that “we want to, frankly, cater to those who have actually signed up, and who we have the highest confidence in because we know the most about them.”

This means that passengers who have not enrolled and paid for the benefits will no longer be chosen at random to go through PreCheck lanes, a process that “we called managed inclusion,” Pistole said.  To date, there are about 440,000 travelers who have enrolled in the PreCheck program, which affords shorter lines at special PreCheck-designated security checkpoints, where passengers are allowed to keep their shoes on, and are not required to remove laptops and liquids from their carry-on bags.

Many frequent travelers have found that PreCheck lines have slowed down considerably as non-PreCheck qualified travelers were randomly sent into PreCheck lanes by screeners, in an attempt by the TSA to put 25% of domestic passengers through the lanes.  Although the screening method is less time-consuming, many of the randomly-selected travelers who were inexperienced with PreCheck would take off their shoes and jackets off ultimately causing more delays, the opposite of PreCheck’s desired effect.

The TSA still plans to offer PreCheck to more travelers.  Pistore said that the TSA is looking to partner with private vendors “who can help us increase PreCheck enrollment, which will result in us having more and more lanes devoted to PreCheck.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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