WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

TSA program at airport can save passengers security line time


 If you have traveled recently, you know a lot of the hassle happens in the security line.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- If you have traveled recently, you know a lot of the hassle happens in the security line. But if you are signed up for TSA's Pre-Check program, and your flight qualifies, you will not need to take off your shoes, your belt or even your jacket.

This is a glimpse at Michael Panosian's life at the airport.

"I'm a very frequent flyer," Panosian said.

He spends time before each flight taking off shoes, unzipping bags and trying to get it all through security.

"For me it's the most aggravating thing that I have to do this all the time," he said.

Any kind of break would help -- and now one is being offered at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport through the TSA Pre-Check program. It allows passengers who sign up and qualify to move through the security line faster.

"What that means for passengers traveling from here is they won't have to remove shoes, belts or light jackets," said Charity Speich, the airport's manager.

The program was introduced at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport this month. It is run through individual airlines, so to use it here you would sign up through United Airlines.

"My understanding is the TSA is looking to develop its own program and there will be a fee for that, but you will be able to use it on all airlines, not just one single airline," she said.

Speich says when you submit your registration you go through a vetting process. If you are approved, you will begin seeing a TSA check symbol on your boarding pass. But you will not qualify for every flight you fly.

"It's based on a risk assessment the TSA does for each person before each flight," she said.

"I'm going to Chicago, then LA, then China," Panosian said.

It may not be for everyone. But for people like Michael Panosian, any little perk over time can make a big difference. Any price to be on his way faster.

The pre-check program is also offered through Delta, US Airways and American Airlines to name a few. You will be able to use it at airports like Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l as well as Chicago O'Hare.


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