What a relief: TSA pre-screening is a game-changer for air travelers

01/15/2014 2:09 PM

01/15/2014 5:46 PM

Before a recent flight back to Kansas City from Albuquerque, N.M., I was momentarily taken aback as I entered the not-very-busy airport security queue. The TSA agent said I could head through the “TSA Pre” line, and he noted the designation on my boarding pass that gave me the privilege.

What a relief.

After all these years of shoe-removing, bottled-liquid displaying and similar air travel humiliations, the process has improved for many airline passengers. TSA pre-screening is available to many airline frequent flyers, members of the military, people who have successfully applied for a Known Traveler Number — there’s an $85 fee — or those involved in other “trusted traveler” programs. (Find details and application process

here

.)

At KCI, TSA Pre is currently available for customers of Delta and Southwest airlines.

At a hearing this week of the mayor’s airport advisory task force, airline representatives noted that pre-screening and new technologies are changing the security process at airports across the country. My experience was not only a small personal victory, but a piece of evidence perhaps that further undermines the argument that KCI’s three-terminal plan needs to be replaced by a new single terminal for centralized security screening.

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