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What you need to know for 01/21/2018

Program will expedite Albany airport checks


Program will expedite Albany airport checks

Select Albany International Airport passengers will soon have the benefit of expedited screening tha
Program will expedite Albany airport checks
Passengers and baggage are screened by the TSA at the Albany International Airport around the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

Select Albany International Airport passengers will soon have the benefit of expedited screening thanks to an expansion of the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, the government said Wednesday.

The screening program, which was launched at select airports in October 2011, allows pre-approved airline travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids and gels in a carry-on in certain screening lanes.

The program is expected to be launched at the Albany airport in early fall, according to Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA.

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Travelers can check for locations and hours of active TSA PreCheck lanes.

It will also be enacted at 59 additional airports, including four others in New York state, bringing the total number of airports with PreCheck screening lanes to 100.

“TSA PreCheck will offer pre-approved Albany business and leisure travelers the opportunity to expedite their checkpoint screening process while increasing the efficiency of TSA personnel,” said John O’Donnell, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority.

U.S. citizens who are members of frequent traveler programs are eligible to participate in the program at no charge if invited by a participating airline, said Farbstein.

In addition, U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program can participate for a fee, she said.

Participating airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to begin participating in the future.

Later this year, TSA will launch an application program that will allow more U.S. citizens to enroll in the PreCheck program. The anticipated fee will be $85 for a five-year enrollment, Farbstein said.

“As TSA continues to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, we are looking for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole, in a news release. “Expanding TSA PreCheck to more locations enables many more passengers across the country to experience expedited screening.”

Passengers eligible for expedited screening will have a special indicator embedded in the barcode of their boarding pass so that when it is scanned at the checkpoint, the passenger can be referred to the TSA PreCheck lane.

No individual is guaranteed an expedited screening, however, because TSA will continue to incorporate random security checks.

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