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The TSA's PreCheck program is set to expand to 60 more airports this year, reports Reuters. So how can you take advantage of it?
The Transportation Security Administration's expedited screening program is already available at 40 airports, and with the upcoming expansion, it will soon operate at 100 airports in 40 states, along with Guam and Puerto Rico.
TSA also plans to increase the number of PreCheck lanes at participating airports in the coming weeks.
What Is TSA PreCheck?
TSA PreCheck is an expedited version of the agency's usual screening process. Eligible travelers who can use PreCheck can keep their shoes, light outerwear, and belt on as they go through security. They also do not need to take their laptop computers out of their cases, nor do they need to remove their appropriately-sized liquids from their carry-on bags.
In providing this option at more airports across the country, TSA hopes it will ensure a smoother, more effective, and more efficient security check.
Who's Eligible for TSA PreCheck?
There are a number of ways to determine eligibility for the TSA's PreCheck program. U.S. citizens of frequent flyer programs can be invited to apply by participating airlines. Also, U.S. citizens who are also members of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program, and Canadian citizens who are members of the NEXUS expedited travel program, can qualify for PreCheck as well.
In addition, any U.S. citizen can apply for PreCheck. The process includes an online application, fingerprints, and an $85 enrollment fee for a five-year term of eligibility. Once approved, the PreCheck status will be embedded into the bar code of the PreCheck traveler's boarding pass.
A Few Caveats
Of course, TSA can also revoke or suspend one's PreCheck status at any time for reasons including, but not limited to, security issues at the gate or for criminal convictions since their PreCheck status was granted. TSA also reserves the right to randomly ask PreCheck passengers to instead go through regular security.
However, keep in mind that not all airlines are participating in the program. PreCheck is currently only available for passengers on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, US Airways, and Virgin America, according to the TSA.
Also, expedited TSA PreCheck lines are not open 24/7. Click on this list to see the hours of operation for PreCheck lines at participating airports.