Reporting Gordy Leach
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Everyone knows how long it takes to get through security at the airport. Now, however, it can take considerably less time for some people.
Starting Tuesday, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is one of a few cities offering what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) calls “Pre-Check.”
What the program means to passengers is keeping shoes, belts and jackets on — and leaving laptops in their cases. It means a shorter security line or no line at all.
You have to be a frequent flyer with Delta Airlines and pass a background check.
“We’re a 10-year-old organization now, so we have a lot more technology, a lot more intel reports, a lot more information than we’ve had in the past,” said Joe Taney of the TSA.” … We want to get to know the people who are frequent flyers and travel often, so we can use our resources to focus on people we don’t know.”
The passengers we talked to say they like the idea of spending less time in security lines, but they also have some reservations about the new program.
“The key is how many domestic airports have this, because you pay $50 but then you find out you can only go to Boston, New York, San Francisco, LA, Chicago and Minneapolis,” said traveler Sally Lannin.
Minneapolis is the seventh airport to offer Pre-Check, which is still a pilot program. The TSA says more than a quarter of a million passengers have been processed through the Pre-Check vetting process.
“I got the email from Delta, filled it all out and got to the very last step where it said, ‘how’d you like to pay for this?’” said Linda Langer of Madison, Wis. “So, I have it on hold, I may do it, but ultimately I think it’s crazy, for 50 bucks.”
If you are approved for the Pre-Check program, a bar code will appear on your boarding pass each time you fly.
The TSA is planning to expand the program to more airlines and airports.
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