Airport Security Getting Easier

Airport Security Getting Easier

Looks like a trip to the airport could get a whole lot easier. The Transportation Security Administration is working on a “trusted travelers” program, which will allow select travelers to keep their shoes on, leave their laptop in its bag, and avoid the body scanner all together. They’ll bypass the regular security checkpoints and go to their own line with fewer restrictions.

John Pistole is the TSA’s administrator and says the program will improve the screening process so they can focus more on people they know nothing about. The “trusted travelers” program will use frequent-flier data from airlines to determine who’s safe. This information goes back decades for some airlines, and since the program will be based on traveler history, it would take time for new members to get the “trusted” status. Once a person is identified to be a “trusted traveler,” a special bar code is added to their ticket. That ticket, along with their ID, will grant them access to the fast-track line. However there will be some times when the tickets won’t be offered: Like when the traveler is booked on the same flight as someone on the government’s “watch list.” On some flights and routes, even trusted travelers will need to get screened like the rest of us. John Pistole of the TSA says the goal is to still keep some randomness so terrorists can’t play the system. This summer, an initial program will start for pilots and flight attendants. If that’s successful, the “trusted travelers” program will start testing at different airports across the country.

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