How many times have you been in line at TSA PreCheck and thought to yourself — “why do I pay for this? The regular line looks quicker.”

I’ve thought that on a number of occasions recently and sounds like Congress has, too.

The bill, already passed by the House of Representatives, is called PreCheck is PreCheck Act of 2018.

PreCheck is not just a benefit that affords an expeditious experience at the airport, it’s also a national security tool.

If you’re unfamiliar with what this is all about, the TSA currently stems the tide of passengers in the regular security lanes by diverting select “low risk” passengers to the PreCheck lane…even though they have neither paid nor gone through the vetting process of PreCheck.

Money aside, I have long had serious concerns about the ability for the TSA to correctly classify passengers as “low risk” and often felt uncomfortable when I saw this practice happening. Pundits will scream racial profiling, but it’s not that. For an organization — so seemingly dis-organized and rife with inefficiencies — to be relied upon to make near-instantaneous decisions on risk, is a recipe for disaster.

If you don’t already have PreCheck and don’t want to pay for it, you may be in luck. Part of the bill includes orders to develop new programs to filter “low risk” travelers from the general line to be placed in a “low risk” line. To me, I think this is idiotic only if the same screening procedures are not applied (which remains to be confirmed at the moment). The point of PreCheck is to have a line dedicated to screened travelers who have already gone through a vetting process. If the Government is going to rely on airport workers to execute passenger “segmentation” protocols, I’d feel a little bit more nervous about things, but from reading some of the details I truly believe this bill is to make air travel safer and am encouraged to see it.

I’m happy to see this bill moving through Congress. What are your thoughts?

(Thanks, Chris McGinnis)

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derekGreg kDomDaninMCI Recent comment authors
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Good but I think you didn’t mention the real daily non-security problem with this. When you put a non-precheck person in a precheck line they don’t know what to do. They slow the entire process which is suppose to be faster. It’s like taking a person in the grocery store with a 100 items in their cart and pulling them into the 5 items or less line.

Greg k
Greg k

In general I am for the precheck for precheck passengers, until I travel with the family on same itinerary/ record locator. To stay together will we be in the regular line or will there be a carve out for spouses and minors. If there’s a carve-out, that’s a gaping security hole.


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This could kill PreCheck if the lines are not too busy. Hard to say.