Lines will be shorter for some travelers at Memphis International Airport after the Transportation Security Administration launched its new PreCheck expedited screening line.
MORE: TSA PreCheck Expedited Screening information
The PreCheck program (http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-pre%E2%9C%93%E2%84%A2) has been around since 2011, but it just opened at Memphis International and already hundreds of flyers have gone through the new security checkpoint.
"I think it's phenomenal, especially for a traveler that's ... I travel almost every week and it just speeds up the whole process," said Holly Blanchard, frequent flyer. "It's very nice."
Blanchard was one of the first to use the new checkpoint. She has used the program at other airports.
"The minute I get to a place where I can get on my computer again and start working, time is money and it just allows me to be more productive," she said.
The new security option is only available at the B security checkpoint at Memphis International.
The program is only available to qualified frequent flyers who travel on Delta, American, US Air and United. The new expedited security line is also open to those who belong to the Customs and Border Patrol's Trusted Traveler Programs.
The travelers who qualify move through security quickly. They can leave their shoes, belt and light coat on. If they have a laptop computer, they can leave it in the bag.
FOX13 News noticed several travelers going through the new TSA expedited security line in about two minutes.
TSA officials said it's part of their new risk-based approach to security screening.
"What we want to do is identify known travelers, people that we have additional information about," said Kevin McCarthy, TSA Federal Security Director. "That allows us to give them an expedited screening and allows us to use our resources instead on folks that we know less about and also high risk passengers."
Scott Brockman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority also said it's an important program for frequent flyers and business travelers.
"Passengers that qualify for the program can go through in a much more expedited way, which then allows those that need maybe a little more assistance to have less congestion in their lines," Brockman said. "So, it's a wonderful improvement for travelers at Memphis International."
Airline passengers who qualify for TSA PreCheck are still eligible for random advanced screening, but the TSA said they know who these frequent travelers are. They're providing additional information to participate in the program, and that helps expedite screening and allows the TSA to focus on potential threats.
The PreCheck program will expand to 40 airports nationwide this week.
The addition of the TSA PreCheck line is one of several airport improvements announced in the last few months. A new parking garage and rental car facility is open for business and in February AirTran announced it's expanding its presence at Memphis International.
"We're very focused on customer service, on value-added, on providing the best level of service we can to the travelers that utilize this wonderful airport," Brockman said.
The TSA PreCheck option is a popular option with business travelers like Blanchard.
"I wish it was in more airports to be honest," she said. "I'm not sure what the schedule is but it's very nice that it's here."
McCarthy said the TSA has a goal of getting 25 percent of air travelers into this type of program.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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