In case you’re not aware, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has developed a Registered Traveler (RT) program to help you speed through security. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but I recently saw a blurb about it in Money Magazine, so I thought I’d investigate.
To enroll, all you have to do is submit to a Security Threat Assessment. Oh, and pay $100/year.
According to the TSA:
Applicants voluntarily provide RT Sponsoring Entities and Service Providers with biographic and biometric data needed for TSA to conduct the STA and determine eligibility. The STA includes checking each applicant’s identity against terrorist-related, law enforcement, and immigration databases that TSA maintains or uses. RT applicants who receive an approved STA result may become program participants.
This program is actually run by private vendors, such as Clear, with oversight from the TSA. Aside from the cost and relatively invasive application procedure, perhaps the biggest downside to the Registered Traveler program is that it’s only available at 14 airports nationwide.
But… If you qualify, and if you’re travelling through a participating airport, here’s what you have to look forward to:
» modified airport configuration to minimize wait times, including dedicated or integrated lines/lanes
» enhanced customer service for participants (divesting assistance, luggage service, parking privileges)
» discounts for service or concessions
So it’s actually more than just an improved experience with airline security. The parking privileges sounds interesting, though I would imagine that it’s just a more convenient lot, as opposed to something like free parking.
If you’re curious as to which airports are currently part of the program, here’s a rundown:
Albany Airport (ALB)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Denver International Airport (DIA)
Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
LaGuardia International Airport, New York (LGA)
Little Rock Airport (LIT)
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Westchester County Airport (HPN)
Honestly, even if our nearest airport was covered (which it’s not), I don’t travel often enough for this to be worthwhile.
What do you think? Are you member? Interested in joining?