Posting in Transportation
The Transportation Security Administration is set to expand its pre-screening program to 28 U.S. airports, where pre-approved passengers may avoid lengthy security checks.
After years of heightened security checks, in which all airline passengers had to remove shoes, laptops, jackets, and belts, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is slowly easing up on its policy.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John S. Pistole announced on Wednesday that the TSA would expand its pilot pre-screening program to include airports throughout the country.
The TSA Pilot Pre-check program launched last fall with American and Delta Airlines at seven U.S. airports: Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. In that time the pilot program pre-screened more than 336,000 passengers.
The program will now expand to include passengers on US Airways, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines and will expand this year to 28 airports, including Boston, Denver, Chicago, New York (JFK, LaGuardia and Newark), and San Francisco.
In order to participate, travelers would have to volunteer personal information before flying, and in exchange they may not have to remove items such as shoes, belts, or light jackets, or remove laptops from bags at security checkpoints.
"TSA Pre moves us closer to our goal of delivering the most effective and efficient screening by recognizing that most passengers do not pose a threat to security," Pistole said. He said it would help the agency go from a "one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system."
Readers, what do you think? Is this a much-needed easing up of overly-strict screening rules? Or are we making ourselves more vulnerable by loosening up regulations?
Photo: Sam Beebe
via [Dallas News]
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Feb 8, 2012
I am a multi-million mile flyer. My "office" has a tray table in front of me. I know of which I speak. The Global Entry program, at least when I began signing up for it, COSTS A HUNDRED BUCKS! I can't justify that when I pack hard boiled eggs to save money when traveling. This is just another perk to allow rich people to skate by working stiffs like me who stand in even LONGER lines because the millionaires and expense account banskters will pay up using other people's money. But me...I can't afford it, so even though I'm a voting, mortgage-paying, family-raising, honest taxpaying red-blooded American, if I don't pony up A HUNDRED BUCKS, well, off to the loser line of shame and suspicion for you, poor boy. The TSA needs to be dismantled. They ultimately succeed when no one flies ever again, since they're about safety and don't give a rat's backside about customer service or airline profitability. The airlines used to handle this function, and had financial incentives for both the safety and comfort of the flying public. A "speed pass" lane for the rich (and elected) will only worsen the pain for the rest of us, since now they don't have to suffer the indignities of standing in lines with us working stiffs.
Global Entry was only for international travel. Looks like the only way to qualify for this is thru one of the other Global Entry programs. We need a similar expedited program for domestic business travelers.