Having to take off shoes and pull out three ounce bottles at airport security is no fun and can slow down the line. Those steps may soon be eliminated for more Middle Tennesseans.
About a quarter of American air travelers already qualify for so-called “TSA Precheck.” People who qualified through the military, the customs department or certain frequent flier programs still go through a scanner, but there’s no rigamarole of removing every item. Now, a new office in the airport will process applications from anyone interested in that special line. TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein says there’s an $85 dollar fee and they do take fingerprints, but if everything checks out, that pre-screened status lasts for five years.
Speaking last year to the Aspen Institute, Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said he hopes making it easier to apply will make a visible difference in airports by the end of 2014.
“I would say at least half of the traveling public to go through some form of expedited screening so instead of two TSA Precheck lanes, if there’s ten, you may see five TSA Precheck lanes.”
Nashville is one of the first places in the nation where people can apply directly to the TSA for the right to use those lanes. The agency has plans to open 300 similar offices nationwide.