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Travel

If You Don't Have TSA PreCheck, You Might Wanna Get It NOW

There are 2 new reasons to get with the program.
A sign welcomes travelers to the PreCheck lane at LaGuardia Airport.
A sign welcomes travelers to the PreCheck lane at LaGuardia Airport.

If you’ve been thinking about getting TSA PreCheck, there are two fresh new reasons to do it.

Last week, the Transportation Security Administration expanded its expedited security service to 11 additional airlines at more than 180 U.S. airports. In a separate bit of news, the TSA also said it will cut back on the number of non-PreCheck travelers allowed into PreCheck lanes. Both changes are excellent reason to invest in the service now.

TSA PreCheck is an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved travelers to keep their shoes, jackets and belts on during security screening, while keeping liquids and laptops inside their bags. Travelers must complete an application, interview and pay a fee of $85 for five years or $17 per year to get the service.

The new airlines that just joined the program are Aruba Airlines, Avianca, Boutique Airlines, Emirates, Key Lime Air, Miami Air International, Southern Airways Express, Spirit Airlines, Sunwing, Virgin Atlantic and Xtra Airways.

Those that were already participating include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, OneJet, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America and WestJet.

Until now, the TSA has often ushered some non-PreCheck travelers into PreCheck lanes on a flight-by-flight basis, spokesman Mike England told HuffPost. But that’s about to change.

Starting in early February, “TSA will significantly reduce access to TSA PreCheck expedited screening for non-enrolled travelers,” England said in an email. “This is part of the natural progression of the TSA PreCheck program. In the future, we intend to only have enrolled or pre-vetted passengers, or those screened by K9s, in the expedited screening lanes.”

So if you like short lines, the time is ripe to apply for PreCheck.

Happy travels!