CHICAGO — Here's good news for air travelers tired of taking off their shoes at security checkpoints: a Transportation Security Administration program that streamlines the security process is expanding to Midway.
The program, called TSA Pre✓, allows preapproved passengers to leave on their shoes, jackets and belts, keep their laptops in their cases and liquids in carry-on bags. The program is already available at some O'Hare terminals, and will be available at Midway in the next few months, a TSA spokeswoman said Thursday.
Currently, it's available to to travelers invited to participate by airlines and those who are members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program, as well as Canadian citizens who are part of the CBP's NEXUS program. But later this year, TSA will allow anyone to apply for enrollment in the streamlined security initiative.
For $85, those accepted into the program can bypass normal security for five years, a TSA spokeswoman said.
The program is already available at 40 airports, and is expanding to 60 more. TSA will also expand the number of TSA Pre✓ lanes for approved travelers.
Currently, seven airlines participate in the program: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to begin participation in the program in the coming months, a news release said.
The TSA warned, however, that travelers cannot opt out of random security screenings, and that no "individual will be guaranteed expedited screening."