US Airways Pre Check expands to Las Vegas Airport

US Airways and Las Vegas Airport in Las Vegas are the most recent participants in TSA’s Pre Check trusted passenger screening program, said TSA on Dec. 14.

McCarran International joins Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport as one of the more recent airport additions to TSA’s expedited trusted traveler security screening program. Beginning in early 2012, said TSA Administrator John Pistole, US Airways passengers will also be able to participate in the program, which requires passengers to volunteer information about themselves prior to flying to potentially expedite their travel, said TSA.

Pre Check participants have been drawn from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines frequent flyer programs at Dallas/Fort Worth International, Miami International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airports in the last few months. United Airlines has also joined the program, but TSA hasn’t announced timing or airports where United frequent flyer passengers can participate.

Members of the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS, who are U.S. citizens and are flying on participating airlines are also eligible for the program. TSA said about 140,000 passengers have been screened through Pre Check at Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami, Detroit and Atlanta airports since the program began in October.

“I am encouraged by the positive passenger feedback and early results from this risk-based security initiative, and look forward to working with our airline and airport partners as we continue expanding and testing this concept,” said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “This system enables our officers to expedite the screening process for passengers we know the most about, while better focusing their efforts on higher-risk and unknown passengers. As we continue to implement a system with multiple layers of security to keep the traveling public safe, we are dedicated to providing the most effective security in the most efficient way.”

If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening through the TSA Pre Check vetting process, information will be embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass, said the agency. TSA reads the barcode at airport security checkpoints and the passenger may be referred to a lane where they will undergo expedited screening. The agency said the process could eliminate participating passengers having to remove their shoes, belts and light jackets. IT also said participating passengers may not have to remove laptop computers from their bags.

The agency, however, said the program wouldn’t mean complete immunity from random searches. “TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening,” it said.

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