Hate the full-body scans, pat-downs and slow going at TSA airport security screening checkpoints? For $100, you can now bypass the hassle.
The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out expedited screening at big airports called "Precheck." It has special lanes for background-checked travelers, who can keep their shoes, belt and jacket on, leave laptops and liquids in carry-on bags and walk through a metal detector rather than a full-body scan. The process, now at two airlines and nine airports, is much like how screenings worked before the Sept. 11 attacks.
To qualify, frequent fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and get invited in by the airlines. There is also a backdoor in. Approved travelers who are in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's "Global Entry" program can transfer into Precheck using their Global Entry number.
Oh it gets worse. There's "Pre check" and the mysterious "undisclosed" parameters that allow the privileged to pass by the rest of the
Hoi polloi. And there's "codes" that are "embedded... in ... boarding passes" and all the rest. Still think TSA and Homeland Security are merely protecting us from terrorism, and not the fascist tendrils of the U.S of Big Brother State? Feh.
So I sound like a tin foil hat wearing crank. These days, I don't much care. Grumpy? Sure. But it's like the cliche: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you."