Local airport welcomes new TSA program
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A fast pass will help eliminate some travel headaches for frequent flyers.
Remove you shoes, unbuckle your belt, and put your laptop in the bin. Most travelers know the drill by now. But a new program at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will allow some passengers to bypass security steps most others are subject to. "It's amazing how grateful you are for not having to go through the hassle of taking shoes and coats and laptops out," said Brian Benson. "So it makes it a lot quicker process,
and it's a lot more convenient."
The airport introduced the pre-check screening system, Wednesday. It's already in place at Miami International Airport and other major airports across the country. Pre-check lets pre-qualified passengers get through security faster, skipping some steps. "Pre-check is an expedited screening that is given to those travelers that we know more information about," said Federal Security Director Tim Lewis. "That allows us to focus our attention on the travelers that we don't know about."
To be eligible for the program that also lets you keep your belt on, and three-ounce liquids in your carry-on luggage, you need to be invited by an airline.
At FLL, Delta is inviting frequent flyers. Another way in is by signing up for a US Customs trusted traveler pre-screening program like Global Entry. "I do like 30 to 45 trips a year," said frequent flyer Ed Mastrangeli. Mastrangeli enjoyed the convenience. "So far it's been great," said Mastrangeli. "I wish more airports were like this. For the business traveler, you really need to speed this thing through."
TSA said they plan to continue rolling out the program at additional airports. At Fort Lauderdale International, the timing was perfect. "Just in time for the holidays," said Lewis. "We're going to be real busy for the holidays and going in all the way to April time frame is the busiest time of year here at Fort Lauderdale."
TSA won't discuss specific numbers, but as of midday Wednesday, over 200 travelers have already used the pre-check program at FLL. TSA plans to expand the program to one more airport by the end of the year: the John Wayne Airport in Orange County California.
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