Last updated: 01:31 PM ET, Tue July 12 2016

'Pop-Up' TSA Pre-Check Centers Open Around The Country

Airlines & Airports | Transportation Security Administration | Rich Thomaselli | July 12, 2016

'Pop-Up' TSA Pre-Check Centers Open Around The Country

PHOTO: Enroll in the TSA’s Pre-Check Program and avoid this. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)

Much like retailers who push their product with guerilla marketing tactics, the Transportation Security Administration has begun setting up “pop-up” enrollment centers to encourage travelers to apply for its Pre-Check program.

The TSA’s Pre-Check program was designed to pre-approve fliers through a screening and background check to bypass regular security lines and enter through a designated checkpoint. Fliers with Pre-Check status do not have to remove their shoes or belts, and in many cases do not have to take their laptops out of their carrying cases.

As more people  use Pre-Check, the thinking goes, it will help to free up employees and alleviate lengthy delays at regular security checkpoints.

But the $85 fee and the mandatory off-site personal interviews have dissuaded some people from applying.

Now the TSA is bringing the process to more convenient locations at airports around the nation with temporary application centers in addition to the several permanent application centers already in place in cities.

The program is being administered by MorphoTrust.

“The permanent enrollment centers have been somewhat crowded, or you were not able to get a quick or a short turnaround of your scheduled appointment,” Charlie Carroll, MorphoTrust’s senior vice president of enrollment services, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The temporary centers are “in direct response to the increased volume and the increased demand that we’ve been experiencing that really goes back to April, and escalated and gained momentum in May and in June.”

The “pop-up” enrollment centers will be in New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Boston, Minneapolis and Houston.

The New York locations opened Monday, July 11, for three weeks in Manhattan’s Penn Station in the United Airlines ticket office from July 11 to 29; inside the Hilton Hotel-JFK Airport at 144-02 135th Ave., Jamaica, Queens, from July 12 to 16; and at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott Hotel, adjacent to the airport, located at 1 Hotel Road, Newark, also from July 12-16.

Travelers can go online and make an appointment at one of the temporary sites, and then complete their application in-person at the TSA Pre-Check application center.

About 160 airports are participating in Pre-Check nationwide, and so far 16 airlines participate in the program including Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Cape Air,  Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, United Airlines, Virgin America and WestJet.


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