Now There’s An Even Longer TSA Line For PreCheck Registration

Image courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Long Transportation Security Administration lines aren’t just for airports anymore. The government agency has encouraged members of the public to sign up for its PreCheck program to speed things along as security lines got longer, and the problem is that the public listened. Now they’re facing long waits for approval in the program, which requires a background check when you first enroll.

At first, the TSA wondered why travelers weren’t interested, speculating that maybe the $85 enrollment fee for five years of not needing to take one’s shoes off at the airport was too expensive. Eventually, though, as long TSA lines stayed in the news, travelers realized that applying for the program would be a good idea. The average number of people applying for the program hit 16,000 per day last month thanks to the publicity. That’s more than three times the normal level.

Unfortunately, the number of TSA and FBI staff members dedicated to approving new PreCheck users hasn’t tripled in that time along with the number of applications. Each one still requires an in-person screening, and those are now being scheduled months out from the date that someone applies.

“The process of looking at my face and verifying that my passport and driver’s license match could be done by literally any security cleared airport staffer,” grumbled one aspiring PreCheck user to the New York Times over email.

The TSA is hiring more screeners, and shifted explosives detection dogs to the busiest airports to help get more passengers through screening. The problem isn’t as bad now as it was for much of May, but that doesn’t mean that the problem has been solved yet: most of the summer travel season remains.

Trying to Get Through Airport Security Faster? Get in Line [New York Times]

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