If you’re an avid traveler, then it may be well worth it to apply for the airport security’s pre-screening program. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began offering a pre-screening program to frequent flyers recently. My family and I were randomly selected to try it out at the Honolulu International Airport, and wow, is it speedy!
We went through a special gate at the top of the TSA security line before quickly flashing our boarding passes and ID’s to the agent. With a smile and nod, she directed us to continue onward to the security checkpoint. It was awesome not to struggle with taking off our shoes and jackets. I left my iPad and camera in my purse and sent them through the X-ray screener.
In total, it took about 30 seconds to get from the gate to the luggage retrieval. Out of curiosity, I checked to see where the person behind us was at (before we were plucked out of line for pre-screening). She was still removing her shoes with all the non-pre-screeners! It was a privilege to try out the new system, even if it was by random selection. I can see how much of a time-saver this could be for any traveler.
The TSA employee at the end of the line gave us a pamphlet with more info on how to sign up for the program. It’s a free online form, and if approved, you’ll get a special barcode printed on your boarding pass. However, travelers won’t know if they’ve been approved until they actually get in line at the airport.
I’m writing this in the hopes that more people take advantage of it, too, especially those who fly often. It will eventually benefit both the pre-screen and non pre-screen passengers, helping to lessen the lines and wait all together.