Picture this: You’re walking through airport security, fully-clothed, your shoes still laced up, and your laptop safely in your bag. This may sound like a dream, but it will soon become reality for some at SFO and 28 other U.S. airports.
A new TSA screening program known as Pre-Check will allow certain passengers to zip through airport security. For now, the program is open only to frequent fliers of US Airways, Alaska, American, Delta, and United Airlines who volunteer additional information in advance so they can be pre-screened.
This is great news for frequent travelers or those who are sick of removing practically their entire outfit, emptying out their carry-on bag or getting groped by screeners just to pass through security lines.
The program was created in response to repeated complaints that TSA officers were not using “common sense” while completing their so-called random checks of grandmothers, infants, and other unlikely culprits.
Here’s how Pre-Check works: You roll up to SFO and walk through security in your own dedicated lane. Once you arrive to the TSA officer, you hand over your shiny specially-marked boarding pass. After a machine verifies you and your boarding pass are “low-risk,” you get to keep on your belt, shoes and jacket. And, even better, you can leave your laptop and liquids in your bags while they are screened.
TSA chief John Pistole told The AP:
“We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system.”
The program should be available in SFO by the end of this year.