We hear it all the time: “the TSA line is slow and long.” We even allot extra time to get to the airport in order to get through the sometimes torturously slow lines in time to get to our gate. We submit to a background check and pay a fee so we can avoid the line with TSA PreCheck. You may have recently noticed that not everyone in the PreCheck line is a PreCheck member. The TSA has more recently been shunting passengers they consider low-risk out of the regular line and into the PreCheck lane, thus increasing the length of the PreCheck line. The U.S. Congress, many of whom are probably members, have taken note of this and — citing the security risks of letting un-vetted passengers bypass the regular scrutiny in the standard line — are passing the PreCheck Is PreCheck Act of 2018 or H.R. 6265
The bill “directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure that only travelers who are members of a trusted traveler program are permitted to use TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at TSA checkpoints.” The bill also asks for an inspector general report on if there has been a systematic pattern of violations of the use of TSA PreCheck security screening lanes at TSA checkpoints. The bill also goes on to investigate the designation of “low-risk” lanes that certain passengers can be sent to in order to alleviate overcrowding and not sent to the PreCheck lane.
I, for one, don’t mind the occasional use of the PreCheck lane for non-PreCheck flyers (as long as the wait doesn’t become long). On the other hand, I think the bill makes sense on its points of security and the fact that we pay for that expedited service and the re-routed regular flyers haven’t. I don’t mind being courteous to my fellow traveler and letting them in the line occasionally but if it becomes a regular event it will be one of concern for both of those reasons.
The bill currently has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting being scheduled for a vote in the U.S. Senate.