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Transportation Security Administration

Expediting Screening for the Traveling Public

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
TSA Precheck Logo

As TSA has announced and has been widely reported, we are using a number of programs to allow travelers to receive expedited screening when they travel, improving their traveling experiences by allowing them to keep their shoes, belts, and coats on, as well as their computers in their bags, when going through TSA screening.

The TSA Pre✓® program is now available at nearly 100 airports nationwide - and will allow passengers who apply through TSA for this program to undergo a simple background check and be eligible for expedited screening at these participating airports. To date more than 18 million passengers have enjoyed expedited screening as a result of the TSA Pre✓® program.

Using the same information that passengers have provided at the time of flight booking for years - name, date of birth, gender - TSA is also providing certain passengers, even without enrolling in TSA Pre✓®, the same expedited screening benefits of TSA Pre✓®.

You may have heard from friends or family who have recently enjoyed these benefits, the feedback we at TSA are hearing is very positive. We know it’s good for the traveling public, and it also allows TSA to focus its resources on more high risk individuals.

Prescreening of passengers is nothing new, and we are not using any new data to determine low risk passengers. Unfortunately some have confused these programs, so we wanted to take this opportunity to make clear what we are notdoing:

  • We are not expanding the type of information we use - again we rely on the same security information passengers have been required to submit at time of booking for many years.
  • We are not using car registrations or employment information.
  • We are not using “private databases” - the info we rely on is the same info that passengers have provided for years when they book their flight.
  • TSA does not monitor a passenger’s length of stay in any location.

Let’s also remember that when it comes to TSA Pre✓®, passengers are choosing to apply for this program - having determined a small fee and a background check is worth expedited screening when they travel.

TSA has a very high bar when it comes to protecting the civil liberties of the traveling public. Our job is to make sure that passengers are able to travel safely, and the programs we have undertaken are designed to meet this goal while at the same time making your traveling experience a more positive one - moving from a one size fits all approach of security to one that provides a much larger part of the traveling population the opportunity to move through security faster and with less hassle.

We believe, and we hope you agree, these are exactly the right types of steps to be taking to meet these important goals.

TSA Blog Team

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Comments

Submitted by RB on
" To date more than 18 million passengers have enjoyed expedited screening as a result of the TSA Pre✓™ program."

If 1.6 million people fly daily then that 18 million only represents about 12 days of flying. Not something I would want to hang my hat on TSA.


So why is a military member in uniform more trustworthy than a military member out of uniform? They both have ID's stating they are part of the military.

Why is the same military member in uniform more trustworthy than they would be the next day if they retired after a full career? They both have DOD ID's showing their connection to the military.

Why are some people being charged for this Pre Check boondoggle if others are not?

Why is TSA only able to do the PreCheck boondoggle at less than 25% of the airports that TSA screens passengers at?

TSA screening should be Pre Check level for everyone until cause is shown to go into a more detailed screening.

Stop treating people like criminals for no other reason than they decided to fly somewhere.
Submitted by Anonymous on

so a one-time reprieve from your intrusive and ineffective security theater procedures is now a "benefit." nice 1984 spin there, Big Brother ...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does this reduce the effectiveness of the protection normally offered?
One person may be clean one day and become mad the other day. The background check won't help identifying the person who passes on the dark side of the force.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Oh - I have a comment, but you wouldn't allow it through your moderation process any way.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to point out that the fee for the application process is consistent with other fees for similar applications, Passports, Firearms Licenses, etc. It is not considered income for TSA, it is to offset the expense to the public for work performed to and for the benefit of an individual. There is a long held misconception due to the fact that work performed by public employees should generally benefit the public, not individuals. Very old concept that still applies.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have both a TWIC card (a credential issued by DHS/TSA) and a DOD-issued security clearance, both of which involve criminal background checks. The latter of which also involves FBI interviews with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, former colleagues, etc.

I am on the Precheck list, but only for flights on the airline where I have most of my status.

The point to all of the above is that, if I'm flying on any airline other than my usual, I don't qualify for Precheck.

Silly, huh?

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
I would like to point out that the fee for the application process is consistent with other fees for similar applications, Passports, Firearms Licenses, etc. It is not considered income for TSA, it is to offset the expense to the public for work performed to and for the benefit of an individual. There is a long held misconception due to the fact that work performed by public employees should generally benefit the public, not individuals. Very old concept that still applies.

October 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM
............................................
Everyone who purchases an airline ticket is already charge an security fee. Why is another level of fees warranted.

TSA gets EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS each year to screen passengers. Given the quality of TSA's screening that is to darn much alreay.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does the general public need to PAY for the privilege of Expedited Screening? This should made available a NO COST to ALL citizens of the U.S. who apply and pass pre-screening requirements. The general public does not pay for pre-screening to enter public buildings, drive on a public road, enter a public bus or rail car system. Metal detectors and munitions sniffers are sufficient devices to expedite passenger safety.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"TSA has a very high bar when it comes to protecting the civil liberties of the traveling public."

If that's the case, [b]why are you seeking to exempt PreCheck from the Privacy Act of 1974[/b] via http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DHS-2013-0041?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Bob wrote:

"Prescreening of passengers is nothing new, and we are not using any new data to determine low risk passengers. Unfortunately some have confused these programs, so we wanted to take this opportunity to make clear what we are not doing:

We are not expanding the type of information we use – again we rely on the same security information passengers have been required to submit at time of booking for many years.
We are not using car registrations or employment information.
We are not using “private databases” – the info we rely on is the same info that passengers have provided for years when they book their flight.
TSA does not monitor a passenger’s length of stay in any location."

That's NOT what the NY Times says, Bob, and for some reason I trust that newspaper more than I trust the TSA.

http://tinyurl.com/kedc2x7

You might also want to read the proposed rule making statement w/r/t expansion of "Secure Flight":

http://tinyurl.com/kcjmhkm

For example:

(b) Records containing information from an individual's form of identification or a physical description of the individual;

Hopefully, you will publish this comment and not censor it as you did my initial comment that referenced today's NY Times article.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Anonymous on

"As TSA has announced and has been widely reported, we are using a number of programs to allow travelers to receive expedited screening when they travel, improving their traveling experiences by allowing them to keep their shoes, belts, and coats on, as well as their computers in their bags, when going through TSA screening."

This should be the default level of screening, for ALL passengers. Anything else, including your obsession with invasive, inefficient, and untested naked body scanners, is idiotic. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

Submitted by RB on

Noticed that no one at TSA had the spine to put their name on this bag of lies.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think if you went back to pre-9/11 screening methods and restrictions with random additional screening and random liquid testing, you could screen passengers more efficiently with minuscule added risk to safety. Another 9/11 style attack will never happen due to the hardened cockpit doors and changed passenger attitudes towards hijackers.

As a comment mentioned above, only a week's worth of passengers have been screened this way. That doesn't seem like something to be proud of considering virtually 100% of travelers are not a threat.The Pre-Check screening methods are currently being used worldwide. Since I haven't heard of anyone blowing up a plane with their shoes, their level of security must be just as good at the TSA, so why are we still removing out shoes?

Since 99.999999+% of travellers are not a threat to security, they should be treated as non-threats. Implement some random additional screening and we will be just as safe.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Way to go...take something that was working great and make it inefficient and a disaster. Those of us who travel 100,000+ miles a year like myself loved TSA Precheck the way that it was. Now you are bringing in completely clueless people and clogging up the lines. Congratulations, big government. "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Bob, does your "high bar" include armed-to-the-teeth federal air marshals who use their government-issued smart phones to take pictures of women's private areas under their skirts?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why is an unopened jar of Smucker's strawberry preserves, in its original sealed jar, a threat for carry-on luggage?

Submitted by Anonymous on

As long as the line moves quickly, who cares what information is gathered on flyers? Anyone with nothing to hide needs fear nothing. The very act of checking travelers should weed out not only terrorists but other criminals.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am a federal employee with a government high security clearance. (higher than TSA staff)I have undergone extensive background checks and work in a sensitive environment.I carry a Federal ID badge. Myself and about 25,000 other such Persons are not included in the TSA Pre✓™ program..Does this make sense to anyone.?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I recently had the surprise of being PreChecked on a return trip out of Fort Worth TX, and it was great! I hope I qualify for PreCheck again on my next trip in January!

Also, on the departure leg of the trip, the TSA officers were very helpful in guiding me through correctly getting my luggage through the screening equipment.

Thank you, TSA. Not everyone hates you.

Submitted by Susanna on

How can I apply for the Pre check that expedites security? I fly a dozen times a year or so, it would be useful.

Also, I'm surprised at the tone of some of the comments. In a business like the TSAs,there will be errors and some bad decisions, along with a lot of hard work and good decisions, but let's remember that the people who work for TSA are human beings like the rest of us, trying to do their jobs -- and not deliberately trying to annoy passengers. I don't think they universally deserve the caustic comments on this blog. I've always been treated respectfully and even kindly by TSA agents at the airports I've been at; am sorry if you've have a different experience.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...

"...it is to offset the expense to the public for work performed to and for the benefit of an individual."

Except there is no benefit to the individual, other than the POSSIBILITY of regaining some of their lost rights by giving up some of their hard-earned cash and hard-won privacy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Although International Travellers are required to provide a large amount of information, they are not allowed access to Pre.

Submitted by @SkyWayManAz on

Anonymous said . . .

"Why are some people being charged for this Pre Check boondoggle if others are not?"

My credit card paid for mine. I'd say which one but it might make this post hit the delete-o-meter. I suspect many frequent fliers are taking advantage of the same card holder benefit though.

Susanna said...

"How can I apply for the Pre check that expedites security?"

If you have a passport I highly recommend applying through globalentry.gov it is $100, instead of TSA $85. You still get TSA Pre Check but the extra $15 is worth it because US Customs jumps you to the head of the line too. Also check with your credit card if it has other travel benefits and a premiere color branding to see if they will pay for it.

Submitted by Melissa Newman on

how future proof can this be? how sure are you that someone will not, in the future, change and become a threat?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"RB said...

Noticed that no one at TSA had the spine to put their name on this bag of lies."

I have a suspicion that this thread was prepared in advance of the publication of the NY Times article. There are currently 459 comments to the Times article and only a tiny thimble full support the TSA.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Tramky on

What does any of this prescreening have to do with airline flight security. The TSA is one-stop shopping for every law enforcement agency in the world. What's next? Matching every passenger against all cold-case files of all police jurisdictions in the US? The world?

Frankly, so what if a known terrorist boards a flight after passing through TSA checkpoint screening. No weapons, no threat , isn't that the entire rationale behind airport checkpoints with X-ray, body scanners, groping/frisking, taking off shoes, belts, jewelry, liquids, gels and all the rest?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I would like to point out that the fee for the application process is consistent with other fees for similar applications..."

But why pay any fee at all? If the default level of screening is what PreCheck gives you, there is no need for a fee or any of the expenses of the PreCheck program.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"As long as the line moves quickly, who cares what information is gathered on flyers? Anyone with nothing to hide needs fear nothing."

Prioritizing personal convenience over hard-won Constitutional protections is one reason why America is on the decline.

I suggest you also spend some time researching the value of privacy.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"Thank you, TSA. Not everyone hates you."

No, just most everyone. Even Congress has a 9% approval rating.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Let's give TSA a break. They are only following procedures. These procedures may be right, may be wrong, but are probably the best that can be developed in an imperfect world.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Your equipment and staff can adequately screen a computer while it is still in a bag. This is true, otherwise it wouldn't be protocol for those in Pre✓™.

Does it really matter WHO is the person in possession of the bag as it goes on the conveyor belt into the x-ray? You are still checking all items for abnormalities, including computers in bags, right?

Please explain your logic why computers can't stay in their bags for all travelers.

The requirement that non-Pre✓™ people need to take the computer out of the bag is pure theater, harassment, and obedience training.

The same idea also applies to shoes, belts, coats.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"As long as the line moves quickly, who cares what information is gathered on flyers? Anyone with nothing to hide needs fear nothing. The very act of checking travelers should weed out not only terrorists but other criminals."

The "...if you have nothing to hide..." argument isn't even worth debunking anymore, but I'd also like to point out that weeding out "other criminals" is not part of the TSA's purview.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Susanna said...

"In a business like the TSAs,there will be errors and some bad decisions, along with a lot of hard work and good decisions, "

Except TSA is a government bureaucracy, not a business.

"..but let's remember that the people who work for TSA are human beings like the rest of us, trying to do their jobs -- and not deliberately trying to annoy passengers."

Except that "just doing my job" is no excuse for violating the rights of the flying public.

"I don't think they universally deserve the caustic comments on this blog."

For agreeing to violate our rights day in and day out, yes, they do.

"I've always been treated respectfully and even kindly by TSA agents at the airports I've been at; am sorry if you've have a different experience"

Regardless of how politely the specific agent is, they are still violating crimes against the US Constitution. Or should I be able to get out of speeding tickets as long as I'm polite about my speeding?

Submitted by Anonymous on

What qualifications does a TSA screener have to determine how much LGA type medicine (or any other medicine) a person may need?

Submitted by Teddy B on

It is obvious from the comments that most of the individuals making caustic comments are not in touch with reality. The world is a dangerous place and airline safety is not their priority. There are many individuals that are capable of committing catastrophic terrorist acts. Just look at the extreme violence at our schools and other public venues. Many of the perps never had a criminal backround. Anyone is capable of taking down an aircraft with a homemade device found on the internet. Lets not be naive ladies and gentlemen.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ask anyone being processed through TSA for a flight whether they want to move through quickly of have privacy. Quick processing will win every time.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To Susan Richart's comment "That's NOT what the NY Times says, Bob, and for some reason I trust that newspaper more than I trust the TSA"

I guess there's no reason for you to demand any explanations from him, since you are NOT going to believe what he says anyway.

Submitted by Bubba on

I don´t qualify for Pre because I don´t live in the US. Will I qualify for the unpaid Pre experience, or is that only for persons who don´t use a foreign passport as ID? If it is still unavailable to us, please explain why we are allowed to fly into and over your country without removing our shoes, but must remove our shoes to fly within the country or out of it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Does this mean that the bullies at the check point are out of a job? The officers already treat us like criminals; what ever happened to freedom from unreasonable searches?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA obviously needs to spend more time doing background checks on its own workforce. It's sad that law-abiding Americans have to surrender their privacy to a disgraced organization like the TSA. The TSA is a national disgrace!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Anonymous said...

To Susan Richart's comment "That's NOT what the NY Times says, Bob, and for some reason I trust that newspaper more than I trust the TSA"

I guess there's no reason for you to demand any explanations from him, since you are NOT going to believe what he says anyway.

October 24, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Read this and you will understand:

http://tinyurl.com/mkfohyy

"The false claim that “The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted certain records from this system from the notification, access, and amendment procedures of the Privacy Act”, when in fact the Secretary has not done so, appears to be intended to mislead individuals about what rights we have, and to dissuade us from attempting to exercise our rights."

SCREEN SHOT/DHS OIG STATEMENT

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Susanna asked - "How can I apply for the Pre check that expedites security? I fly a dozen times a year or so, it would be useful."

While the program is not 100% up to speed, the participation page is found by following this link:

http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/how-participate

More options on how to participate will come online in the near future. Thank you for the kind comments as well!

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

I like how the bloggers that complain about the rights of passengers are now okay with it as long as they get through lines quickly. As long as the other passengers whose rights are being violated dont get in their way and slow things down. This place is too much. As previously stated opinions of TSA are slanted to whatever is soots the bloggers thoughts even if it contradicts what they previously posted, even good ol' RB

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Anonymous said... Anyone with nothing to hide needs fear nothing. The very act of checking travelers should weed out not only terrorists but other criminals."

You are welcome to give up your information and your privacy. You will not, under any circumstances, be giving up my information and my privacy. I am not a criminal, I have nothing to hide, but that does not mean I want to show everything I have.

Submitted by Bubba on

West,

I´d appreciate an answer to my question.

Submitted by Anonymous on

No one should have to go through a background check to travel in the US. The TSA's new policy of selling back our rights and expecting us to be grateful(!) is disgusting.

The TSA themselves say in recently revealed court documents (that they redacted to the point of ridiculousness, but an unredacted copy was posted on a court document website) says that they have known for YEARS that there are NO current, viable terrorist threats to aviation safety, but they still take naked pictures of men, women, and teens (and children up til recently), confiscate everyday harmless items, and force Americans and visitors to the US to jump through hoops, including background checks(!) to sit on a plane.

It is gross how willing some people are to sell their rights and privacy to save a few minutes and live in constant, unnecessary fear, for what truly is SECURITY THEATER.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Bubba I am guessing this was the question you were wanting answered, I will do my best - "I don´t qualify for Pre because I don´t live in the US. Will I qualify for the unpaid Pre experience, or is that only for persons who don´t use a foreign passport as ID? If it is still unavailable to us, please explain why we are allowed to fly into and over your country without removing our shoes, but must remove our shoes to fly within the country or out of it."

The only information I have found puiblicly posted by TSA on non-citizens being able to particpate in Pre is here - http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck/tsa-precheck-expedited-screening

That specifically names Canadian Nexus holders as eligbile. I have seen some news stories that indicate there may be more availability, but I have no official information I can post to answer that question better with.

As for the shoes, it is a simple answer, each country has their own threat matrices that they address their own way, currently the US has requirements on shoes, while some other countries do not.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on
Link to NY Times article that spells out how TSA does background checks on Americans, how having a "dispute" with a screener or (private company) airline employee can put you on the "Precheck disqualification list," that TSA allows itself to give our data to (private company) debt collectors, and that you don't need to waste $85 to get pulled into the "privileged" line.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/business/security-check-now-starts-lon...


Screenshot
Submitted by Susan Richart on

Is the TSA going to be collection "physical descriptions" of individuals with medical anomalies in order to allow them expedited screening?

Or are such individuals still going to be subjected to be groped, humiliated and degraded at checkpoints?

screen shot

Submitted by Anonymous on

"As for the shoes, it is a simple answer, each country has their own threat matrices that they address their own way, currently the US has requirements on shoes, while some other countries do not."

And by "some" you mean "all other," right, West? Or can you name a single other country that requires all passengers to remove their shoes?

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