More security lines will be opened under the TSA PreCheck program at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport starting Tuesday, giving trusted travelers another option for expedited screening.
Travelers who sign-up and qualify for the program are allowed to move through security without dealing with some of the hassles associated with airport security — such as taking off shoes, belts and jackets, removing small lotions or other hygiene items from carry-on luggage and removing laptops from cases.
"It allows us to spend more of our time on passengers we know less about, so we see that as an improvement in security," said Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman.
There is already a PreCheck line at Concourse D. The program launched in November 2011, and 19 million passengers have used it since.
A second line will be added at Concourse C on Tuesday, and a third will be opened at Concourse A later this month, Farbstein said.
BWI is one of nearly 100 airports across the country that participate in the program. Participating airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.
Farbstein said Southwest Airlines, BWI's largest carrier, and JetBlue are expected to participate soon.
Sometimes, travelers are randomly selected as being eligible to move through the expedited lines — a privilege that is indicated on their boarding pass — based on existing flight screening measures, Farbstein said.
Otherwise, fliers have to apply for the program and provide personal information to the TSA or be qualified because of membership in other security programs or groups, such as the U.S. military.
Eligible fliers include:
•U.S. citizens who are frequent fliers and get invited to opt into the program by a participating airline;
U.S. citizens who are members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs for international fliers, including Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI;
Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS;
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces with a Common Access Card;
and kids 12 and younger traveling with an adult in the program.
In addition, the TSA is working to launch its own enrollment process for any U.S. citizen to apply for PreCheck status for a fee of $85 for five years, Farbstein said.
The Customs and Border Protection program costs $100 for five years, Farbstein said, and requires passengers to provide a fingerprint.
Kids 12 and younger and adults 75 and older already can pass through security without taking off their shoes.
Fliers who are PreCheck qualified are still subject to random checks and other security measures throughout the airport, Farbstein said.
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