The lead caught my attention? “Who hasn’t stood in a security line shoeless, beltless, clutching a Ziploc bag and inching grimly toward a full body scanner?”
Last week, writing in the New York Times, Stephanie Rosenbloom discussed Trusted Traveler programs designed to speed airport security measures. Many FlyerTalk members are current with the procedures offered by Homeland Security, but maybe it’s worth reviewing what’s current.
One option for frequent flyers is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program. For a $100 fee and agreeing to a background check, you’ll likely zip through screening and customs declarations quicker than most passengers. The program started in 2008 and reportedly gets about 30,000 applications a month.
If you qualify for Global Entry, you also qualify for TSA PreCheck, a free program that began last October by the Transportation Security Administration and often means you don’t have to remove shoes, belt, jacket, or finger your laptop and liquids. Initially, the PreCheck program was open by invitation only to frequent flyers on American and Delta because their passenger information systems connect with TSA’s secure flight data base. Other carriers are now coming up to speed and encouraging PreCheck. More than 3 million passengers have been accepted into this Trusted Traveler program, which now operates at 26 airports and will be at 35 by the end of the year. A list is at tsa.gov.
Loews Hotels and Resorts is offering to pay the $100 Global Entry application fee if you’re a YouFirst Platinum loyalty member.