Security starting well before the checkpoint, TSA expands 'pre-check' program
POSTED: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 8:14pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 12:42pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The Transportation Security Administration is expanding their "pre check" program nationwide.
It's now in all the major airports here in Texas, meaning faster security lines at select airport checkpoints for flyers. However it also means more extensive background checks for those who opt in for the 100 dollar fee.
TSA has been scrutinized for their invasive and one-size-fits all security methods. Now TSA is trying to change that by expanding their "pre-check" program.
TSA Press Secretary, Ross Feinstein in a phone interview from Washington DC says, "The majority of travelers do not pose a threat to aviation security." And with precheck flyers will be allowed the option to have an extensive background check before they ever get to the security checkpoint at the airport, allowing them to speed through security in a sort-of “fastlane” and not have to take their shoes off.
Many East Texas flyers see the benefits in this program, Kati Smith from Tyler says, "It would help expedite some of the process of going through that airport line, I was in line onetime and it took forever and I was not happy."
Another East Texas flyer says, " I think if it streamlines the process for those who travel a lot on a regular basis for their income then i think that might be good."
However some say even though the program is optional they believe it's just another ploy for the U.S. government to dig into their personal information. “why do they need all of that information just so I can fly? they're always watching us, why is that okay?” One East Texan tells KETK news.
TSA says the goal is to expedite security lines faster and by next year they project 2 percent of the flying population to be enrolled in pre-check.
Although TSA could not speak on how extensive the background check is for the pre-check program. They did say the check is just to make sure flyers aren't a threat. Feinstein says, "We do vet individuals to make sure they are who they say they are, and they do not pose a threat to aviation security, and as a benefit to them we will offer them TSA pre-check expedited screening in nearly 100 airports." Those nearly 100 airports do include all major airports in Texas including Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and El Paso.
The New York Times posted an article about the pre-check yesterday and when KETK spoke with TSA in Washington DC today they told us that the NYT article was very misleading and had a lot of wrong information.
TSA has since posted something on their website clearing up that misinformation.
See those articles below:
New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/security-check-now-starts-long-before-you-fly.html?_r=0
See the TSA responses to the NYT article here: http://blog.tsa.gov/
For more information about precheck visit: http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck