Keep those shoes on
Flying through airport security: TSA to let some United-approved passengersavoid the hassle
Over the weekend, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration rolled out its PreCheck program at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) — one intended to fade out the noise (read: non-threatening, trusted travelers) to focus on the thousands of unknown, higher-risk passengers traveling by air each day.
IAH joins a list of airports — including Chicago O'Hare, Boston Logan, Seattle-Tacoma and LAX — that have implemented the program since late June, and eligible United Airlines MileagePlus members are invited to apply to participate in the PreCheck's initial phase.
In this fast-track screening, passengers can continue wearing shoes, belts, light outerwear and jackets on their voyage through the detectors.
Officials will determine passenger eligibility on a flight-by-flight basis and then embed approval into boarding pass barcodes, which will grant those pre-approved passengers access to a designated security checkpoint located at IAH's Terminal C-South.
In this fast-track screening, passengers can continue wearing shoes, belts, light outerwear and jackets on their voyage through the detectors. Laptops can remain inside of bags, and though the 3-1-1 liquid restrictions still apply, travelers can keep that zip-lock in the carry-on, too.
TSA spokesman Luis Casanova explained to CultureMap that, while frequent fliers from other airlines are not yet eligible to participate in PreCheck at IAH, interested passengers can apply for expedited screening through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry program. That application costs $100 (which covers an extensive background check) and lasts five years.