Airport trusted-traveler effort enrolls 1 millionth member

More and more shoes are staying on people’s feet when they march through airport security checkpoints.

The Transportation Security Administration’s Precheck trusted traveler program enrolled its 1 millionth member last week, just more than a year after the program began.

More than 13,000 Las Vegans are part of the program.

Representatives of the TSA, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, called attention to the milestone number on Tuesday at McCarran International Airport.

“As more and more people join the program, passengers are spending less time in airport security lines and that’s a win for everybody,” said Lorie Denkers, a spokeswoman for the TSA.

The 1 millionth enrollment occurred Friday at Boise Airport in Boise, Idaho.

The TSA launched the program at four airports in October 2011, then began the application program at Indianapolis International Airport in mid-December in 2013.

To apply, a traveler must fill out a short form at a Precheck office and provide government-issued photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, and proof of citizenship or documentation, such as a birth certificate. Applicants also pay an $85 fee that is good for five years of travel. Applicants also are electronically fingerprinted.

The entire process takes 10 minutes and travelers should get a “known traveler number” within a week.

Travelers use the number when they book reservations on participating airlines — Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.

Passengers get a special notation on their boarding passes listing them as Precheck eligible. Those passengers are routed through dedicated lines at which travelers can leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belts, keep their laptops in their cases and their 3-1-1 compliant fluids and gels bags in a carry-on suitcase.

Denkers said many travelers who fit the profile of a trusted traveler have gotten “free samples” to use Precheck lines.

Precheck is available at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at McCarran as well as at 132 other airports nationwide.

There are 330 application centers nationwide, including one near the C gate entry at Terminal 1 at McCarran and an offsite office at 2800 E. Flamingo Road.

So far, 9,047 people have enrolled in the program at the airport office — ranked the No. 13 office in the country — and 4,256 have enrolled at the Flamingo Road facility. The airport office is open from 8:30 a.m., to 12:30 p.m. and 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, while the Flamingo Road office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Although having a Precheck trusted traveler number generally allows enrollees to use shorter special lines at airports, it’s still possible that enrollees will get pulled out of line for a random secondary screening.

Known travelers also can be booted out of or suspended from the program for violating screening rules.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find on Twitter: @RickVelotta.

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