Tuesday, October 1, 2013

New TSA Programs to Speed up Airport Security

Tired of long lines at airport security?  Or coming home from abroad and waiting in more lines to clear customs?  Take a look at these new programs.
If you make even one trip a year abroad, consider Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. 
At participating airports, participants proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration.  The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs them to baggage claim and the exit.
There is a $100 non-refundable application fee.  You will have to be pre-approved through a background check and interview.  Interviews are being held at Dulles Airport.  Membership is valid for five years.
Once approved, you will receive a Global Entry Card.  Details at:  www.GlobalEntry.gov.  Membership automatically enrolls you in PreCheck.
For those who only travel domestically, there is PreCheck.  US citizens can apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints.  Enrollees are being screened at Dulles Airport.
This program requires a background check, fingerprints and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five year term.  Once approved, travelers receive a “Known Traveler Number” and the opportunity to go through PreCheck lanes at airport security checkpoints.  This program enables travelers in these screening lanes to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts.  Travelers may keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag in a carry-on. 
PreCheck is currently available at 40 airports nationwide.  Current participating carriers are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.  For details:  www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck