Looking to get through airport security faster? For the first time, the TSA is letting passengers apply to get in their PreCheck program offering expedited screening, but you'll have to go through Indianapolis International Airport to complete it.
Those using PreCheck lanes do not need to remove shoes, light jackets or belts, and may leave their laptops and bag of 3-1-1 compliant liquids and gels in their carry-on bags.
An example TSA notification of eligibility a passenger being granted access to the faster security screening program might receive.
Travelers can begin the application online by providing basic information and make an appointment to visit an enrollment center to finish the process.
The first enrollment center will be located in Indianapolis International Airport's concession-filled, pre-security Civic Plaza, between a shop called Cultural Crossroads and the exit from concourse B.
Over the next few weeks, TSA plans to open additional enrollment centers in the New York City area, the Washington, D.C. metro area and in Los Angeles. By the spring of 2014, the TSA plans to have more than 300 enrollment centers open around the country.
Until now, eligibility for the PreCheck program has only been available through programs such as the U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s Global Entry program and through airline frequent flier programs.
“TSA PreCheck is enabling us to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, as we look for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way,” TSA Administrator John S. Pistole said in a statement.
According to TSA, travelers will be able to visit an application center to pay the non-refundable $85 application fee and provide required biographic information (name, date of birth, address, etc.), fingerprints and identity and citizenship/immigration documentation. Those seeking to enroll may also begin their application online and make an appointment before visiting an enrollment center.
TSA’s PreCheck program allows qualified traveler to receive expedited checkpoint screening at more than 100 airports nationwide when flying on nine participating airlines: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
Approval is not immediate: TSA said applicants will be able to check their status online within five days and written responses should take approximately two to three weeks.
If approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number and a five-year membership in the PreCheck program. After that, you'll have to apply again.
Harriet Baskas is the author of Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You, and the Stuck at the Airport blog. Follow her on Twitter at @hbaskas.
First published December 4 2013, 6:49 AM