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TSA taking some of the hassle out of airport security lines

WASHINGTON — More than a quarter of U.S. fliers can expect speedier passage through airport checkpoints — shoes and coats on, laptop computers untouched — by year's end under a program announced Monday by the Transportation Security Administration.

About 450,000 passengers a day will be eligible for the special treatment as existing programs are expanded to include a random selection of people deemed low security risks by the TSA.

The passengers chosen for the expedited service will not be required to submit personal information beyond that provided when they book their flights.

"To do this, the government and TSA are collecting no new information," said Joseph Salvator, the TSA's deputy assistant administrator. "Everything we're using to make these risk assessments is information that the passengers currently provide the TSA, which is name, date of birth and gender."

Passengers will not know they have been selected for the faster lines until they receive their boarding pass or, in cases where the designation has been coded, when they present their boarding pass at a security checkpoint.

From there, they will be directed to a line currently reserved for members of the Global Entry program and the TSA's Pre-Check program — which require passengers to submit applications and fingerprints — and fliers who fall into exclusive categories, such as frequent fliers and members of the military.

Carry-on luggage will pass through X-ray machines and passengers will go through metal detectors, but several of the steps that slow lines and frustrate fliers will not be required.

The TSA plans to have the expanded program in place by early October, well before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

TSA taking some of the hassle out of airport security lines 09/09/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 10:40pm]

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