Last week, TSA announced that over 1 million travelers have enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program. Further, over 3.6 million travelers are eligible by virtue of their participation in one of the trusted traveler programs offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI). (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

airline security, tsa, security screening

What now? TSA will begin winding down the practice of offering PreCheck to travelers who have “opted in” through their frequent flyer program. The Agency had previously indicated it would begin moving away from randomly including passengers who haven’t paid for the background check that grant increased access. It doesn’t sound like access for those passengers who opted in via a frequent flyer program will be completely out of luck, but will instead receive PreCheck less often.

As I’ve said before, I continue to be pleased with TSA PreCheck. Given the amount of electronics I travel with, some personal, some business, and some medically necessary, the standard security regime as it is currently constructed had become a challenge for me. Of course, as TSA indicated in its blog post, no one is “guaranteed” expedited security. For sure, in 2 out of 3 transits of checkpoints last week, I was “randomly selected” for additional screening through a trip to the AIT scanner. The manufacturer of my insulin pump advises that those scanners are harmful to my insulin pump, so this means an “opt out” scenario for me, and the lovely pat down. Still, I find that a minor nuisance in the overall scheme of things. Hopefully, the changes being implemented will make the system work even better for those of us who paid for access.

-MJ, March 31, 2015