TSA Pre-Check at Newark and Washington Dulles

Transportation Security Administration Checkpoint at Denver

Passengers Queue in Long Lines at Denver TSA checkpoint

TSA Expands Pre Check at United’s Newark and Washington Hubs

Shoes and belts off, laptops out, and your liquid baggie in a tray, and be sure to listen up for the rule de jour — unless you’ve been vetted and approved for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre-Check Program.

United passengers who’ve been vetted and approved for the TSA Pre-Check ✓ program now have expedited access through TSA checkpoints at Newark Liberty International (EWR) at the C3 checkpoint as of today. Next week, the TSA is slated to roll-out Pre-Check at Washington Dulles Airport’s (IAD) main terminal checkpoints.

Passengers in this elite group are allowed to leave on their shoes, “light” outerwear, belts, and there’s no need to remove your laptop or baggie of 3 oz (100ml) of liquids and gels from your carry-on.

United 737 in New Livery

United 737 in New Livery | Courtesy: United Airlines

TSA Pre-Check Program and Membership Eligibility

The TSA “Pre✓” is a new, “risk-based” pre-screening initiative that allows passengers to volunteer information about themselves that may make them eligible to expedite their screening experience. Frequent Flyers who are members of programs such as Global Entry are typically eligible for the fast track program. The TSA works with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify potential participants and eligible United MileagePlus members are being invited to participate in the initial phase.

Global Entry is a fast-track re-entry system to the United States that is open to US Citizen frequent flyers. One must apply and if approved, visit a US Customs and Border Protection office for a final interview to be granted access to Global Entry. The Global Entry program was created as a fast-track re-entry system at airports for trusted international travelers. In theory, the program allows CBP officials to focus their efforts on less frequent travelers and international visitors to the United States.

Non-members may qualify by becoming eligible member of a US Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program. For passengers who choose to participate, the TSA will determine eligibility for expedited screening prior to each flight and will embed this information into a barcode on eligible customers’ boarding passes.

TSA agents will scan the boarding pass and will direct eligible passengers to the assigned pre-screening lane. The TSA has said they’ll incorporate random and unpredictable security measures into Pre-Check, meaning no particular passenger is guaranteed an expedited screening.

The program is said to be controversial among passengers who do not have access to expedited screening while others feel they shouldn’t have to be “vetted” for special screening benefits, as US citizens, to travel on US domestic flights.

United Airlines Passengers and TSA Pre-Check

United Airlines is working with the TSA to have the Pre-Check program rolled out at all of their hubs. Toby Enqvist, vice president of United’s New York operations, said, “We are excited that the TSA is expanding the Pre-Check✓ process to our New York hub, and I know that our team in the Washington, D.C. hub is anxiously awaiting the launch there next week.” Enqvist continues, “We’ll have Pre-Check✓ at five of our United hubs, and look forward to expanding it to all of them. We hear great feedback from our customers who tell us how much easier Pre-Check✓ makes their travel experience.”

As the TSA Pre-Check program is being rolled-out nationwide, United MileagePlus members, along with eligible members of other frequent flyer programs, may receive expedited TSA security screening at Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Cincinnati (CVG), Houston (IAH), Indianapolis (IND), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Portland, Ore. (PDX), Reagan Washington National (DCA), and Seattle (SEA).

The TSA Pre-Check✓ program will begin at additional airports as the program expands across the nation.

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