For months, my friend has been asking me when RDU is going to get the Transportation Security Administration’s Pre-check program at RDU. He’s a road warrior for a Fortune 500 company and logs thousands of miles each year in the air. He travels to Dallas and Los Angeles frequently and enjoys the benefits of the TSA program at other airports across the nation, but not here at his home airport, until now. Today, I get to tell him that TSA Pre-check is on the way.
For road warriors like my friend, the program offers a chance to speed through security by not having to remove shoes, jackets or take their laptop out of their carry-on bag. The reason? They travel so frequently that there is a wealth of information about them available to the airlines and government to alleviate many security concerns. He, along with all participants in the program, will still be subject to random screening through the lanes where most of us, myself included, are screened.
So, how does one become enrolled in the new TSA program? There are two ways. First, you can be invited by your airline. American, Delta, United and US Airways are participating partners at RDU. These airlines notify qualifying passengers that they are eligible to enter the TSA Pre-check line at the security checkpoint after checking in for your flight.
The second way to enroll is to become a member of the U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s Global Entry program. This fee-based program enables you to use express entry lanes at Passport Control at ports of entry into the U.S. as well as the TSA security checkpoints. The only catch for area residents is that a part of the enrollment process is an in-person interview with CBP staff. Charlotte and Washington-Dulles airports are the closest current locations to schedule an interview.
The TSA has said that Pre-check will be available at RDU by the end of March. Take a moment to learn more about this exciting new TSA program.