SATISFACTION NOT GRANTEED: Qualified passengers can sign up for TSA’s Pre-Check program for expedited security screening, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be exempt from invasive security searches.
OSAWATOMIE — Congratulations, frequent fliers, today is your lucky day! The Transportation Security Administration has a deal you won’t want to pass up: For a nominal fee, you too can enjoy the possibility of expedited airport security screening.
But, as with most TSA services, customer satisfaction is anything but guaranteed.
The much-maligned government agency announced Wednesday that Wichita Mid-Continent Airport and Kansas City International Airport will be among 100 locations nationwide to see an expansion of TSA’s Pre-Check program. The program allows qualified passengers to pass through security screening with minimal embarrassment and their shoes on their feet – for a price.
Pre-Check, in place since 2011, is already open to members of participating airline frequent-flier programs or a government trusted-traveler program. For the rest of us, though, it’ll cost $85 for a five-year membership.
Even that doesn’t guarantee your dignity will remain intact by the time you reach your gate.
According to TSA’s frequently asked questions:
Q. Will passengers with a TSA Pre✓™ indicator on their boarding passes still be subject to random exclusion of TSA Pre✓™ benefits?
A. While passengers with the TSA Pre✓™ indicator have been pre-cleared to access the TSA Pre✓ ™ lane no passenger is ever guaranteed expedited screening. TSA continues to incorporate random, unpredictable screening measures.
“TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening in order to retain a certain element of randomness to prevent terrorists from gaming the system,” the agency states on its website.
Program participants, provided they haven’t been selected for additional screening, can pass through security without having to remove shoes, laptops, belts, light jackets or 3-1-1 compliant bags from carry-ons.
“This article first appeared on Franklin Center. Reproduced with permission”