To ease delays at airport security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration has launched a pilot program that lets average travelers speed to their planes without having to remove shoes, belts and coats or take laptops and liquids out of carry-on bags.
But there are a couple of drawbacks: You first have to get the OK from an explosive-sniffing dog and a TSA agent who is specially trained to detect suspicious behavior.
The program, dubbed Managed Inclusion, is being tested at the Indianapolis and Tampa international airports. TSA Administrator John Pistole said he hopes to expand the program next year. But no word yet on when it might come to a Southern California airport.
The TSA currently operates PreCheck security lines in 35 airports. The lines are reserved for pre-screened travelers who are members of an airline or hotel loyalty program or have paid $100 to enroll in a screening program through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The PreCheck lines move much faster than regular security lines because passengers don’t have to remove shoes, belts or coats and can leave their computers and liquid containers in their carry-on bags.
Under the new pilot program, regular travelers who do not qualify for the PreCheck program can be invited to use the faster PreCheck lines but only if they pass inspection from the dog and an officer who will ask questions to look for suspicious behavior.
“What managed inclusion means is … if there’s not many people going through the PreCheck lane and there’s a long line at the regular queue, can we somehow identify those people as being lower risk and offer them the opportunity to go through PreCheck?” Pistole said.
(c)2012 the Los Angeles Times