COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- There are 100 airports around the country with a TSA Pre✓ lane, and several Ohio airports are the latest to add the service just in time for the holiday travel season.
TSA Pre✓ is an expedited screening process that gives pre-approved travelers the ability to move through security without having to remove their shoes, light outerwear or belt, keep their laptop in its case, and their 3-1-1 complaint liquids or gels bag in a carry-on.
"There is more screening procedure in the standard lanes, so the idea is expedited screening, you're going to get through a lot quicker," said Scott Lorenzo, Assistant Director of TSA at Port Columbus.
Lorenzo says about 50,000 people are now in the program, which launched in October 2011. Akron-Canton Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Dayton International, and Port Columbus International Airports are all included in the program.
Passengers eligible for TSA Pre✓ include U.S. citizens who are enrolled in the frequent flyer program of a participating airline, and U.S. citizens who are members of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program. If you aren't auto-enrolled by an airline you can buy a membership for $85.
"You have to be a U.S. citizen and go through a background check. That usually entails providing basic information: name, date of birth, residence, fingerprints, and then a quick interview," Lorenzo said.
As of December 20, all military personnel, including Reserves and National Guard, will be automatically included in the program.
"A passenger, when they come to the airport, should look at their boarding pass and look for that TSA Pre✓ symbol because they may be a TSA Pre✓ member," he said.
A TSA Pre✓ indicator will be embedded on the bar code of the boarding pass for eligible travelers.
Brent Straton, who lives in Sunbury and travels to Arizona twice a year with his wife, says he was auto-enrolled by his airline.
"I absolutely think it's a great idea, in fact I was surprised when they told us to come over here, I had to ask them what this was all about because I had no idea," he said.
Linda Poling, who commutes weekly from San Fransisco to Columbus, agrees. She's been using the program for four months.
"I love it! It's the easiest thing. I don't have to take my shoes off, I don't have to take my computer out. It's perfect. It gets me through the lines really quick," she said.
Passengers traveling on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America are eligible for TSA Pre✓. Southwest joined this week. JetBlue and is expected to begin participating soon.