Skift Take

The days of confused passengers in the Precheck line are finally coming to a close.

Those enrolled in the TSA’s Precheck (or TSA Pre✓®) program are about to encounter a lower volume of traffic in airport security lines.

As of this week, the agency is finally drawing its managed inclusion program to a close, effectively constraining the program to only those who have officially signed up for its expedited services.

Reserving the program solely for those who signed up for it may seem obvious, but it’s not the way that Precheck has recently been running. For the past several months, the agency has been using a program called Managed Inclusion to funnel “low risk” passengers through Precheck lines, cutting down traffic in standard security lines and balancing the load across checkpoints.

In the process, Managed Inclusion also successfully antagonized a large swath of Precheck members who paid for expedient service but instead got snarled behind inexperienced travelers at the security checkpoint.

Perhaps because of these slowdowns or because of the occasional miscreant that slipped through Precheck via Managed Inclusion, lawmakers announced plans to ratchet back on the program earlier this year. Separately, the TSA announced its own plans.

According to Travel Market Report, the summation of those efforts is finally bearing fruit this week. As a result, fewer random passengers not directly enrolled in Precheck or Global Entry will find their way into the security line.

Whether that translates to shorter trips for passengers through the Precheck line is still up in the air. Despite the lower volume of Managed Inclusion passengers now going through the lines, the Precheck program has a massive user base that can easily overwhelm security on a heavy traffic day. Individual airports can also rebalance their security checkpoint teams to pull staff away from Precheck lines and allocate them to the general public — effectively reducing the flow of expedited service.

Either way, as of this week there should be fewer inexperienced passengers in the security line. And for that, Precheck members can breathe a sigh of relief.


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Tags: airports, precheck, tsa

Photo credit: TSA agents man the checkpoint for pre-cleared passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. 119667 / 119667

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