TSA's Elite Fast Lane Doesn't Always Work
Even those who pay up may get singled out for regular screening
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2012 2:38 PM CDT
A passenger enters a new expedited security line Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – The TSA's "Precheck" pilot program is up and running, with some select, lucky travelers who've paid $100 to sign up with the government's Trusted Traveler program getting to breeze through security for Delta and American Airlines at nine airports. But in a mostly glowing Wall Street Journal piece on it today, the Consumerist notes a pretty significant flaw: It doesn't always work. Passengers are occasionally randomly selected for regular screening, meaning they have to pack with all the normal rules in mind.

"I like Precheck, but it would be much more valuable to me if I were able to know before leaving for the airport whether or not I had Precheck approval," said one frequent traveler. Another downside: It may be making regular security lines longer for everyone else, as agents are diverted to the little-used Precheck line. But the TSA and Customs and Border Protection are committed to the program, and say they want to expand it to 35 airports and to as many passengers as possible.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Mar 15, 2012 5:18 PM CDT
This reeks of classism. A government agency creating a separate area and line for a different group of people? That sounds so familiar.
Mar 15, 2012 3:39 PM CDT
If the USA was traded on the NYSE, I would consider investing, with scams like this. 'Pay $100 and get quicker service...maybe.'
Mar 15, 2012 3:39 PM CDT
I always shake my head when I see these lines... if you were intent on bombing an airplane, wouldn't this be a better bet for getting something onboard?