INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Last December, the Indianapolis International was the first airport in the nation to offer the TSA’s PreCheck program.
Now, eight months later, not only have Hoosiers taken advantage of PreCheck, so have half a million people nationwide.
“Since we started in December here in Indianapolis we’ve grown into 26 total airports, and 300 off airport sites,” says Mark Howell, of the TSA Indiana Regional office.
The faster checkpoints are located at 118 airports nationwide. The program is simple.fill out a questionnaire, pay $85 for a five year membership and get a break at the security checkpoint, says Aaron Batt, TSA Indianapolis.
“You get to leave your shoes on. You get to leave your light outer coat. You get to leave your compliant liquids in their bag. Your computer in your bag as well,” he says
When it first began, TSA wasn’t quite sure who would take the time to sign up, or who would find faster security check-in appealing. Now they know says Batt.
“We have a range of business travelers that are flying every week to people who are traveling only a few times and want to insure they get that expedited screening experience,” he says.
In fact, TSA says Indianapolis continues to attract about 80 customers a day at the airport who sign up for the PreCheck service.TSA said 60-percent of those, are actually travelers from out of state. In addition to that, TSA says current and former military personnel as well as department of defense employees have been added to the program, says Howell.
“By using the ID card number on the back of their ID, when they go to book their ticket, they can get the TSA PreCheck benefits free of charge.”
Once signed up for the program, and the $85 fee is paid, TSA says it takes about two to three weeks for the background security check to be finished.