TMR Exclusive: TSA to Use Canines to Replace Managed Inclusion

by Cheryl Rosen

Following Travel Market Report’s story yesterday of the phase-out of the Managed Inclusion Program, David Castelveter, Deputy Assistant Administrator of TSA’s Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs, called TMR to share that TSA will be rolling out a new program that will use canines to screen some travelers and allow them into the PreCheck lines.

As with the Managed Inclusion program that ended last week, TSA agents will randomly choose passengers from among those who have made their reservations in advance, and whose names have been vetted through the TSA’s Secure Flight pre-screening process before they arrive at the airport.

Castelveter declined to provide more detail on how exactly passengers will be chosen or screened for the new program, citing security concerns.

But he emphasized that travelers “will get it only from time to time, only on a random basis, and only if there are canines at the airport.”

The only way to ensure that you will be able to use a PreCheck line, he said, is to sign up for the program, have a brief interview at one of the 330 application centers around the country, and pay the $85 fee (or $100 for Global Entry, which includes PreCheck privileges).

Once a traveler is enrolled, PreCheck status is valid for five years.

Passengers in the TSA PreCheck line don’t need to remove shoes, belts, or light jackets, and can keep laptops and 3-1-1 liquids in their bags. The program is available in more than 150 airports nationwide and most major American carriers participate, including American, Delta, and United.

Agents are an important part of the process
Castelveter added that travel agents play an important role in ensuring travelers who are entitled to use the PreCheck lines are actually allowed to enter them.

Whenever they book an airline ticket, agents need to ask if the clients have enrolled in the PreCheck program. If the answer is yes, they should be sure to enter the Known Traveler number into the reservation at the time of booking, and at least 72 hours in advance of travel.

Simply knowing their number or showing a card at the airport will not be enough to gain a traveler entry into the PreCheck line. “If that number is not in the reservation, they will not get in,” he said.

Castelveter said that 2 million passengers have used the PreCheck lines, including those who are officially enrolled and those who were selected for Managed Inclusion II, the version of the program that is currently being phased out.

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