MIAMI (CBS4) – If travelers volunteer more personal information to the government at four U.S. airports, including Miami International Airport, they may find it easier to get through security.
It’s called the “PreCheck” program and it is the first big attempt by President Barack Obama’s administration to move away from a one-size-fits-all security approach. It comes after complaints about full-body pat downs and intensive searches of children and the elderly.
“People will still have to go through a metal detector,” said Miami International Airport’s TSA director, Matt Hatfield. “They will still have to have their property x-rayed, but the process should be smoother.”
Passengers, less than 10,000 of them, will be pre-approved to pass through security. The test group is being selected by the airlines.
American Airlines chose frequent fliers who use their Dallas and Miami hubs. Delta chose frequent fliers at the Atlanta and Detroit airports.
The Pre-Check program will allow travelers to keep their shoes, belt, and jacket on; and you’ll no longer be required to display liquids and you can keep your laptop in the bag.
Traveler Ted Fernandez received an email inviting him to the program just last month.
“I’m in and out of here once or twice a week and anything that makes it easier to get through is terrific,” Fernandez said. “It was just the typical personal information and travel information.”
Robin Kane, technology director for the TSA assured CBS4’s David Sutta they will still have elements of surprise in their checkpoint, even in the pre-check lanes.
“That’s why we will always have random and unpredictable checks,” Kane said. “And you will never be guaranteed that you will get this type of screening when you show up at an airport.”
Those words are reassuring to Fernandez who is waiting to fly through security.
“If they don’t do a good job then no, I’m not for it all,” Fernandez said. “I’m assuming they will and hopefully it will make it a little easier.”
TSA said that if the program is a success, they hope to expand it to more airports.