Sunday, July 22, 2012

TSA to introduce passenger prescreening at United's LAX terminals

The Transportation Security Administration program that allows prescreened passengers to move more quickly through security is scheduled to expand next week to United Airlines in Terminal 7 at LAX.
The program, known as PreCheck, is already in place at LAX for select Delta and American passengers. Under the program, such passengers may not have to remove their shoes or lightweight outerwear or remove their laptop or liquids from their carry-on during screening.
“All of our customers absolutely love it,” said Alexandria Marren, senior vice president of network operations for United and United Express, under which security falls. United, which implements the LAX plan Tuesday, hopes to have 24 airports using the program by the end of the year.
To become one of the chosen, passengers need to be frequent fliers. What exactly that means — whether you need to have achieved “elite” frequent flier program status or you fly six times a year — isn’t clear and neither the TSA nor United said they could discuss that.
Passengers who are members of the Customers and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs, which include Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS, also may be eligible for expedited screening.
Information indicating that the passenger has the prescreening stamp of approval is embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass. TSA would not say how that process works. The process did require some additional barcode-reading equipment at some checkpoints, TSA said.
Marren said the expedited process moves passengers through the security 2 1/2 times faster than regular screening.
The program, which was rolled out in October, has so far screened  more than 1.7 million passengers, the TSA estimates.

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