|Business travel: the airport express screening program||| Print ||
The ban on all liquids in carry-ons in August was just another weary reminder to business travelers of the post-9/11 world in which they operate. The ban came after the British foiled a plot in London to use liquid explosives to blow up passenger planes headed to the United States. While travelers quickly adjusted to the new rules — at Portland International Airport it was virtually a non-event — it was a reminder that random security crackdowns are still part of traveling.
The long waits in line following that incident also renewed debate over plans to offer a Registered Traveler (RT) program that would offer express screening for passengers willing to undergo extensive government background checks and submit to eye and fingerprint scans. Registered Travelers are subject to the same carry-on restrictions and must pass through the same screening as other passengers, but they get to use an expedited security line. The fee is around $100 a year.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says 12 airports are interested in the program, but would not release the names. Orlando International is the test airport and has had RT since July (with 26,000 members). The program’s rollout was to expected to start this summer, but the TSA now says there is no firm timeline for implementation. Travelers will sign up either with the aiport or the air carrier, whichever entity has signed an RT agreement.
An express lane is available at the checkpoints for passengers enrolled in qualifying airline mileage programs, or passengers traveling between Portland and Seattle. For more information, go to /.docs/pg/451?redirect_id=20105/Travel_Checkpoints.aspx
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