As the busy summer travel season draws ever closer, the TSA has announced plans to expand on PreCheck access.
Now, teens — aged 13 to 17 — on the same reservation as their PreCheck-wielding parent or guardians are allowed to accompany them through security screening, so long as the PreCheck designation is shown on the teen’s boarding pass, per a new report from CNN. (Children 12 and under have always been allowed to pass through PreCheck lines with their older counterparts.)
It’s a move that TSA Administrator David Pekoske assures travelers the agency is, arguably for the first time since before the pandemic, prepared for: “From TSA’s perspective we are ready. We have more staff on hand this year than we had last year, which is a good thing because we have more passengers this year than we had last year,” Pekoske said Monday.
This Little Trick Can Speed Up Your TSA PreCheck EnrollmentThere’s an applicant backlog for Trusted Traveler Programs, but you can finish your PreCheck interview at a well-known chain store
That can probably be credited, at least in part, to the 30% pay bump uniformed officers will be receiving as of July 1. After years of staffing-related issues, Pekoske has said that there are as many as 1,000 officers that have even volunteered to travel to airports where higher passenger volumes are expected. Subsequently, he anticipates standard wait times of 30 minutes or less on average in regular screening lines and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck lines.
For the uninitiated, TSA PreCheck is A) a thing you should acquire, immediately, and B) an expedited screening program that allows low-risk travelers to pass through checkpoints at light speed. Available at 200 airports across the country, it’s offered through the government and costs $85 for five years (although some credit cards waive the fee as a member benefit). As of this past March, thirty-two million travelers were benefiting from TSA PreCheck expedited screening.
For parents and guardians of young children, it’s a smarter investment than ever as they’ll now be covered under the cost of one membership until they turn 18. And if that’s not incentive enough, I’ll leave you with this: This past Sunday was the busiest day of TSA screening since the start of the pandemic, with 2.67 million people screened. It’s only May.
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