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TSA Expanding Pre-Check Option to Speed Up Security

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- According to the Transportation Security Administration, almost 2 million passengers pass through our nation's airports every day.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- According to the Transportation Security Administration, almost 2 million passengers pass through our nation's airports every day.

If you're a frequent flyer, the protocol for going through security is probably second nature.

The Springfield-Branson National Airport does not see quite as much volume as Chicago or Atlanta, but many locals often travel out of Springfield to busier airports for various reasons, and are being slowed down by the security checkpoint.

"Sometimes it's a hassle to have to take off your shoes, because the floor is kind of gross," says traveler Jodi Letterman.

"I think it's come a long way, and I'm very grateful that we have it," adds Debbie Hoehn, another flyer.

"They can do whatever they want to me as long as I know I'm safe on the plane," adds Terry Halborson, who travels every once in a while.

Airport security: if you want to fly, you have to go through it.

"I've accepted it as just part of my job, part of my life," says Tim Mangione, who flies several times a week for work. He says he knows the rules and protocol all too well. "I probably know it as well as they do because I probably spend as much time in the airport as they do."

Mangione filed for TSA pre-check a little over a month ago. TSA currently allows a pre-screening at 40 airports.

"As someone who's always traveling, sometimes going through a client meeting, to a flight, and has little time in between, it does sometimes get frustrating when there are families who travel maybe once a year."

Pre-check participants can skip removing shoes and other items, and leave their laptops and liquids in their bags, after verifying their identities.

"Having shorter lines, I was able to not take off my belt, my shoes, my jacket, so that can sometimes save me 15 minutes or more."

TSA will allow pre-screening at 60 more airports, and expand it at 40 current airports.

"If I can make use of the fee and the process that I went through, that becomes even more worth while."

This increase will occur by the end of the year, and the 40 airports currently offering it will increase the number of lanes for the program.

"That will make the process much easier for people like myself that travel a lot on business or travel a lot for other reasons."

Pre-check is part of a larger effort by TSA to provide the most effective security, focusing more on risks that certain passengers may pose.

Right now only very frequent fliers invited by their airlines and passengers who are members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Trusted Traveler programs can participate.

TSA is launching an application process later this year to allow travelers who want to join pre-check to pay $85, verify their identity, and provide finger prints at an enrollment center.
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