The TSA’s new “Pre-Check” program allows travelers to pass through security via an expedited lane, pending a background check and small fee. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from LAX for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2014.
TSA and LAX have teamed up to help make domestic travel easier.
As of Thursday, LAX now has an on-site application center where travelers can sign up for TSA’s PreCheck, allowing those approved to use expedited security lines for nine airlines at more than 100 airports nationwide.
"You get to go to an expedited lane, you keep your shoes on, you keep your belt on," TSA adminstrator John Pistole said.
Jackets can also be kept on, and laptops and liquids can be kept inside bags instead of needing to be removed.
"The net result of that is we can have many more people go through a TSA pre-check lane in an hour than we can in a standard lane," Pistole said.
The program is eligible to U.S. citizens and legal residents who have not been convicted of certain crimes. Applicants must first go through a pre-enrollment process on the TSA website. They can then make an appointment or walk-in to the application center in Terminal 5 at LAX to verify their identity and provide the necessary documents and fingerprints. There is an $85 nonrefundable application processing fee.
"A heinous crime or something that would be a security issue for the United States, obviously you won't be able to be cleared," TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said.
Once approved, PreCheck status is effect for five years.
"It's not that expensive and it avoids a lot of headache and time," LAX traveler Michael Penny said.
Participating airlines are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America.
There are also PreCheck centers in Glendale, Carson, Oxnard, and Signal Hill.
The PreCheck program was opened up to domestic fliers in Dec. 2013. Prior to that, only select travelers could apply.