I’ve been harping on the lines at PreCheck lately. Reading the boards and blogs, I know I’m not the only one who has noticed a certain change in the experience of late. The masses are moving into the PreCheck line. I’m all for risk-based security, but if we’re going to be sending more and more travelers to the PreCheck line, the “expedited screening” areas are going to need to be expanded to keep up. Of course, some of this depends on time of day, and day of travel, but even on a recent Saturday the PreCheck line in Atlanta was well-subscribed, just not at Monday morning levels.

On the other hand, a recent Sunday afternoon transit of the PreCheck line at Raleigh-Durham was an example of the way things should work most of the time. It was an early summer Sunday afternoon, so not likely peak travel time, but certainly about the time a lot of business traveler types who need to get into position for Monday are heading to the airport. At Raleigh, you head sort of towards the middle for the main line, left for the elite line, and very left for the TSA PreCheck line. There is only one PreCheck lane at Raleigh as far as I can tell, but it’s one lane that works.

Things were steady, but not off the hook. There were 2 or 3 people waiting to transit the metal detector, and 2 or 3 people ahead of me in line for the ID and Boarding Pass check. By the time I was scanned and placing my things on the belt for x-ray, a couple more were in the queue behind me, with a few more heading that way. The person in front of me was obviously a first-timer, but the polite TSA agent managing the metal detector was on top of things – “leave your shoes on and your computers in your bag.”

The bottom line – 3 minutes from hitting the queue to walking into 42nd Street Oyster Bar, and then my favorite Sky Club. Kudos to RDU PreCheck.

-MJ, June 13, 2014