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Business Travel

How to Skip Long Security Lines at the Airport

If the TSA's trusted-traveler program takes off, prescreened frequent fliers will be able to skirt long lines.

A new perk for frequent fliers is on the horizon. The Transportation Security Administration has announced plans to launch a trusted-traveler pilot program to allow certain members of airline-miles programs to breeze through security.

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In some airports, business and first-class travelers already skip to the front of the security line; but enrollees in the new program might get to go a step further. The TSA hasn’t revealed the details, but the agency may “allow members to leave on their shoes, keep laptops in their cases, or not walk through the x-ray,” says Brett Snyder, of CrankyFlier.com.

To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens who are frequent travelers with American Airlines, Delta or Global Entry, the U.S. border patrol’s trusted-traveler program. They will undergo background checks and prescreening. The program takes off this fall at four airports, including Detroit Metropolitan and Miami International, with plans to expand to more airports and airlines. Bear in mind, however, that similar schemes have failed in the past. “I’m seeing a wait-and-see attitude from frequent fliers,” says FrequentFlier.com’s Tim Winship.