PDA

View Full Version : Life Pay the TSA $100 and Bypass Airport Security!


Deberg_1990
03-16-2012, 11:56 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577281483630937016.html



Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.

To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.

"It's a completely different experience than what you're used to," said Matt Stegmeir, a platinum-level Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL -2.49%frequent flier who was invited into Precheck when it opened at his home airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul. Besides zipping through security screening quickly and easily, Mr. Stegmeir noticed another difference: TSA agents at the Precheck lane are usually smiling.

"It's really a jarring contrast. It reminds you just how much of a hassle the security procedures in place really are," he said.

Global Entry has been extremely popular with frequent international travelers. Approved travelers get to use a kiosk to enter the country rather than waiting in often-long lines to get their passports stamped and go through Customs inspection.

.Consider that in January at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the average wait in line was 35 minutes between 4 and 5 p.m., and the longest wait was 137 minutes. The wait at Terminal 1 at New York's Kennedy International Airport averaged 44 minutes in January for people arriving between 10 and 11 a.m. Enrolling requires a $100 application fee for a background check, plus a brief interview with a Customs officer.

For domestic travel, Global Entry pays off because it gets you into Precheck. Once TSA announced in the fall that enrollment in Global Entry and CBP's other "trusted travel" programs (Nexus for frequent travel across the Canadian border and Sentri for frequent travel across the Mexican border) would get you into Precheck, applications for Global Entry took off.

In February, for example, 26,602 people applied, more than triple the number of applications in February 2011, according to CBP. And February applications were up 42% from January as more and more travelers catch on.

"We want as many people as possible in the program," said John Wagner, CBP's executive director of admissibility and passenger programs.

TSA says it also wants as many people as possible in Precheck, which is still in pilot-testing phase. Both agencies say the programs can enhance screening of people they know nothing about if they can move low-risk people who submit to background checks out of the main queues.

"We can reduce the size of the haystack when we are looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist," said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

Mr. Pistole, an FBI veteran who took over TSA in 2010, said that by studying frequent-flier histories as well as conducting background checks, he's confident the U.S. now has the technology and the intelligence information to make less-rigorous, faster screening work. TSA has been trying to move to more "risk-based" security—something critics have suggested for many years.

Once in Precheck, TSA still checks names against terrorism watch lists before every flight, just as it does for other travelers. If a passenger is cleared for Precheck screening, a code is embedded in a traveler's boarding pass.

Precheck members usually get to use security lines set up for first-class and elite-level frequent fliers. But Precheck travelers actually don't know if they will get to use the easy screening until the TSA officer checking IDs actually scans the boarding pass. If the pass has the code, a Precheck passenger is steered to a separate screening lane for what amounts to old-style airport screening.

TSA says Precheck members are selected randomly for regular screening to enhance security. But that unpredictability irks frequent travelers. The agency doesn't make travelers go to the end of the regular screening line, however, but instead slips them into the front of the regular queue.

"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 for that day's flights," said Beth Allen, a University of Minnesota economist and frequent traveler.

Gary Kaminsky, who travels 100,000 miles a year domestically, says he's gotten Precheck screening on about 80% of his trips so far out of Los Angeles International Airport, his home base, on AMR Corp.'s American Airlines. "When it does work, it's phenomenal," he said. "It cuts security screening down to about 30 seconds."

For now, travelers say Precheck lanes are almost always empty—no waiting. In fact, Precheck may be making regular lines longer since equipment and officers are devoted to a little-used lane. Mr. Pistole said that will change as the program expands and the agency collects more data.

Currently, TSA is working with only two airlines, American and Delta, because they were able to handle computing requirements set by TSA for the frequent-flier aspect. Even if you get into Precheck through Global Entry, it will currently only work for you on American and Delta domestic flights at airports with Precheck lanes.

Also, Precheck lanes are in place only at nine airports. Currently, American passengers can use it in Dallas-Fort Worth, New York Kennedy, Los Angeles and Miami. Delta passengers have Precheck access in Atlanta, Detroit and Salt Lake City. Passengers on both airlines can use Precheck in Las Vegas and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Later this month, Precheck is set to expand to Washington's Reagan National Airport for Delta passengers and certain members of the U.S. military, and Chicago O'Hare with American.

By the end of the year, Mr. Pistole said Precheck will be in place at 35 airports and six airlines, covering most major U.S. airports and airlines. Expansion will continue in 2013, but Precheck probably won't be available at all 450 commercial airports, since many have a small number of travelers each day. "The goal is to cover the broadest cross-section of travelers," he said.

bevischief
03-16-2012, 12:00 PM
So you have to pay $100 not to get nuked? ...

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:02 PM
It's like paying $100 for common sense. Better than standing in line, though.

Deberg_1990
03-16-2012, 12:04 PM
It's like paying $100 for common sense.

Govn't cash grab. Cha Ching!

Rain Man
03-16-2012, 12:05 PM
We've had some system like that in Denver for a while. Called "Clear" or something. I can't remember the cost, but I didn't fly enough to justify it.

It'd be nice if we could get cleared once and then just do retina scans or something.

bevischief
03-16-2012, 12:08 PM
What's next anal probes?

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:09 PM
Govn't cash grab. Cha Ching!

Fuck, what isn't these days? However, this is a good idea. Definitely worth $100 to avoid all that bullshit.

qabbaan
03-16-2012, 12:09 PM
If its $100 for life, sign me up. I waited over an hour in line the last time I flew.

It is very airport dependent though. KCI is the most convenient airport around if you want to travel. Other airports are all being turned into revenue-generating shopping malls that require miles of walking and take forever to plow though to your gate.

If you area KC voter don't let them change KCI. Even with the TSA it beats the hell out of every other airport...

Anyway, yes of it's $100 for life not waiting in those lines sign me up.

vailpass
03-16-2012, 12:09 PM
What's next anal probes?

They already have them. They cost $100.

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:14 PM
I still think it would be better if they looked at me and thought "Hmm, this is a white, middle-aged, natural born American citizen, an armed forces veteran, with no criminal record or ties to terrorists. Perhaps he's not a threat to ignite his fucking shoe and blow up the airplane."

Oh wait, there's that whole pesky common sense thing again. I believe there's some federal law against that.

Rain Man
03-16-2012, 12:14 PM
If its $100 for life, sign me up. I waited over an hour in line the last time I flew.

It is very airport dependent though. KCI is the most convenient airport around if you want to travel. Other airports are all being turned into revenue-generating shopping malls that require miles of walking and take forever to plow though to your gate.

If you area KC voter don't let them change KCI. Even with the TSA it beats the hell out of every other airport...

Anyway, yes of it's $100 for life not waiting in those lines sign me up.


Maybe you have to get used to it to appreciate how it works, but as a non-KC guy who rarely travels into the KC airport, I despise it. No services at all, no way to kill time at all, and while it's unrelated to your point, terrible signage and inconvenient and severely overtaxed rental cars. KC is perhaps my least favorite airport.

Rain Man
03-16-2012, 12:15 PM
I still think it would be better if they looked at me and thought "Hmm, this is a white, middle-aged, natural born American citizen, an armed forces veteran, with no criminal record or ties to terrorists. Perhaps he's not a threat to ignite his ****ing shoe and blow up the airplane."

Oh wait, there's that whole pesky common sense thing again. I believe there's some federal law against that.

Which is precisely why you'd make an effective terrorist. You're the least suspicious.

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Which is precisely why you'd make an effective terrorist. You're the least suspicious.

Refrigerators fear me.

SPATCH
03-16-2012, 12:17 PM
Sir. I need to check ya asshole, sir.

qabbaan
03-16-2012, 12:18 PM
I still think it would be better if they looked at me and thought "Hmm, this is a white, middle-aged, natural born American citizen, an armed forces veteran, with no criminal record or ties to terrorists. Perhaps he's not a threat to ignite his fucking shoe and blow up the airplane."

Oh wait, there's that whole pesky common sense thing again. I believe there's some federal law against that.

You are forgetting that the DHS is run by people who think military veterans are just as big of a threat as extremeist Islamists. Domestic terrorists and all.

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:20 PM
You are forgetting that the DHS is run by people who think military veterans are just as big of a threat as extremeist Islamists. Domestic terrorists and all.

Perhaps we are. But to them, not a plane load of innocent people.

qabbaan
03-16-2012, 12:21 PM
Maybe you have to get used to it to appreciate how it works, but as a non-KC guy who rarely travels into the KC airport, I despise it. No services at all, no way to kill time at all, and while it's unrelated to your point, terrible signage and inconvenient and severely overtaxed rental cars. KC is perhaps my least favorite airport.

I'm just there to travel, not to shop or eat... You are right that a layover there would not be exciting but you can get dropped off 100 feet from the gate, there are no security lines most of the time, the bag claim is usually right within sight of your gate... You can't beat it for pure travel... Boring and utilitiarian as it is.

L.A. Chieffan
03-16-2012, 12:23 PM
That's awesome.

Frazod
03-16-2012, 12:27 PM
Maybe you have to get used to it to appreciate how it works, but as a non-KC guy who rarely travels into the KC airport, I despise it. No services at all, no way to kill time at all, and while it's unrelated to your point, terrible signage and inconvenient and severely overtaxed rental cars. KC is perhaps my least favorite airport.

I've never had a problem flying into KCI, although admittedly I generally drive to Kansas City. It is out in the middle of BFE, but not nearly as bad as Denver's airport. I wasn't even sure I was still in Colorado by the time I got to that sonofabitch.

Mojo Jojo
03-16-2012, 12:30 PM
Maybe you have to get used to it to appreciate how it works, but as a non-KC guy who rarely travels into the KC airport, I despise it. No services at all, no way to kill time at all, and while it's unrelated to your point, terrible signage and inconvenient and severely overtaxed rental cars. KC is perhaps my least favorite airport.
But those overtaxed rental cars pay for the Sprint Center.

Frosty
03-16-2012, 12:31 PM
Oh wait, there's that whole pesky common sense thing again. I believe there's some federal law against that.

Common sense will never prevail when there are bucks to be made and power to be gained.

Donger
03-16-2012, 12:33 PM
But I like government-sponsored peep shows.

I said this a TSA gal recently when she directed me to the scanner instead of the metal detector. The little whore actually pulled me aside and had her supervisor come up.

Donger
03-16-2012, 12:34 PM
I've never had a problem flying into KCI, although admittedly I generally drive to Kansas City. It is out in the middle of BFE, but not nearly as bad as Denver's airport. I wasn't even sure I was still in Colorado by the time I got to that sonofabitch.

You don't like the Denver, Western Kansas & Southern Wyoming International Airport?

Rain Man
03-16-2012, 12:42 PM
But those overtaxed rental cars pay for the Sprint Center.

Yeah, glad to help out with that.

Rental car taxes and hotel taxes are the modern-day version of highwaymen robbing innocent travelers.

Radar Chief
03-16-2012, 12:44 PM
Refrigerators fear me.

The Maytag Mangler.
Sounds like a name for a professional wrestler.

Rain Man
03-16-2012, 12:44 PM
You don't like the Denver, Western Kansas & Southern Wyoming International Airport?

I understand why they did it, but my goodness that's a journey out there. I really wish they'd stop playing political games and put light rail out there. I take the bus, but light rail would be a lot more comfortable.

Donger
03-16-2012, 01:06 PM
I understand why they did it, but my goodness that's a journey out there. I really wish they'd stop playing political games and put light rail out there. I take the bus, but light rail would be a lot more comfortable.

I drive out there, but I'm seriously considering just getting one of the driver/Lincoln Town Car services instead. Parking at DIA is becoming one of my major travel headaches.

vailpass
03-16-2012, 01:10 PM
I understand why they did it, but my goodness that's a journey out there. I really wish they'd stop playing political games and put light rail out there. I take the bus, but light rail would be a lot more comfortable.

I lived in the dorms on Quebec a couple miles from Stapleton while they were building DIA but Stapleton was still open. When I'd fly home I'd have a buddy drive me the 5 minutes it took to get to Stapleton, get there 20 minutes before my flight was to take off and walk on the plane as they were closing the door.
So damn easy.
Then DIA opened.