TSA Opens Pre-Check Express Lane At Tulsa International Airport

Thursday, October 24th 2013, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6

The headache of airport security could soon be less painful for flyers who meet certain requirements.

Thursday, the Transportation Safety Board unveiled an express screening lane at Tulsa International Airport.

It's called Pre-check, and although it's been around since 2011, it's new to Tulsa.

TIA is now one of 100 airports across the country with an express lane, and it should make flying a less stressful experience.

Shoes, coat, phone, laptop, any metallic items--if you've ever flown, you know the drill.

"I travel 40 times a year," said George Joseph, of Las Vegas.

Joseph is just one of 30,000 flyers corralled though the security gates every week at Tulsa International.

The TSA is expanding its pre-check program, hoping to relieve the traffic through security.

"The perception is that it's relaxed, but think about the technology that has changed," Joseph said.

TSA says, since 9/11, it's taken a "one-size fits all" approach to security. A few years back, security was loosened slightly, allowing children and the elderly to keep their shoes on. Now, it's changing it's security focus to the most high-risk flyers.

"The checkpoint is just one of many layers that we have. Some of those layers passengers see and some of them they don't," said TSA spokesperson Carrie Harmon.

Harmon said, in the pre-check line, flyers can keep their shoes, belts and a light jacket on, and their laptops and liquids stay in their bag.

"It's a lot more of hassle to go though the other side," said traveler Janet D'Arcy.

TSA runs background checks on flyers like, D'Arcy and her family, based on the information provided to the airlines.

"When you've got two boys who have a lot of backpacks and electronics, it made it very easy. My mother is in a wheelchair, so it made it easy for her to go through," D'Arcy said.

Some flyers will get a surprise, automatically being moved to the pre-check line, based on who they're flying with and where they're going. Most frequent flyers will be invited by their airline.

For those that fall in the middle, TSA is releasing an application program later this year that will cost $85 and is good for five years.

Until the TSA application is available, international travelers can apply with U.S. Customs and Borden Protection for the Global Entry program. That costs $100.

The TSA said, even with the pre-check line, flyers are still subject to random screenings.