TSA expands ‘trusted travelers’ program in 2013

WASHINGTON – Keeping coats and shoes on the body and leaving the laptop in the briefcase are just a few of the benefits that some air travelers could experience this year.

The Transportation Security Administration will focus on expanding its “PreCheck” program to more airlines, more airports and more customers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The program, which debuted in 2012 at 35 airports, allows pre-screened travelers to go through an expedited security check at select airports and on select airlines.

Travelers enrolled in the “PreCheck” program undergo an initial background check and finger printing, and as a result, experience a more relaxed screening process before boarding.

At designated security checkpoints, shoes and jackets remain on the traveler, laptops and liquids stay in luggage bags and travelers walk through a metal detector, rather than a body scanner.

The article reports that 5 million people are currently enrolled in “PreCheck,” a number the TSA hopes to increase by making the enrolling process easier. TSA hopes to handle 1 million customers a month in the program.

In 2013, all air travelers can also expect to see Wi-Fi available on more flights, as well as an increase in in-flight beds for customers on certain airlines.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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