It might cost you an arm and a leg, but it’ll save you a pat-down and the hassle of waiting in line. The Transportation Security Administration has launched the “trusted traveler program” or TSA pre-check. Those who opt in can avoid removing their shoes, jackets, and belts as well as lines and pat-downs. It pays to avoid the aggravation of air travel-- $85 to be exact.
But the cost is not simply monetary. You have to give up some personal information too. Members must volunteer personal information, pass a background check, and undergo fingerprinting. Furthermore the payment and the pre-check are no guarantee you won’t be selected for a random pat-down. In fact, there’s no guarantee the expedited line will be expedient.
While the program is currently unavailable to anyone other than frequent fliers, TSA Administrator, John Pistole has announced the program will admit all passengers very soon. The pre-check program is only serviced at 40 airports across the country, though this is likely to increase with the expansion of the program.
The program is especially beneficial to TSA who benefits in greater revenue, lower costs, and easier security checks. TSA is expected to earn $255 million from the expansion of the program in 2013 alone. With more people volunteering personal information, TSA can afford to reign in the cost of personnel. Finally, the program provides an added layer of security without forcing passengers to comply with any further rules they do not wish to obey.