Tue, Jan 08, 2008
Only A Few Airports Offer Option For Low-Risk Fliers
It's now been over a year since the
US government quietly announced a trusted traveler program,
allowing frequent business fliers to pay an annual fee to private
security providers to prescreen low-risk travelers, to allow quick
transit through security lines at airports.
Business fliers, who are on the clock while they wait in lines,
welcomed the option. But so far, only a fraction of the country's
airports offer the program... making it tough for such businesses
to make a go of it, reports The Seattle Times.
Also complicating matters -- and we know this will be hard to
believe -- is the Transportation Security Administration. One
private provider, Clear, says the TSA has blocked strategies for
streamlining the security process, nixing proposals for
shoe-scanning and biometric measures.
TSA spokesperson Lara Uselding says the technology used by
private enterprises doesn't meet TSA standards, and the agency is
reluctant to divert its own personnel to staff private lanes.
Airlines also haven't all warmed to the idea. Continental
operates Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport in New
Jersey. The airline provides its own, exclusive TSA security line
for members of its Elite program, and has kept Clear from competing
with it, according to the company.
Fortunately for those who want the option, Clear has reached
85,000 total subscribers, and is now turning a profit on its
operation at Orlando International Airport.
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