TSA changing pat down procedure, offering up PreCheck membership - KPTV - FOX 12

TSA changing pat down procedure, offering up PreCheck memberships

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Fliers heading through security will soon see a couple of changes, one of which is already causing concern among travelers.

A "secondary screening" is a new pat down procedure being rolled out by the Transportation Security Administration this month.

Travelers across the country have complained of searches that last up to five minutes that also allow officers to use their open palm to search people. The security rules also allow for passengers to request private screenings

TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez told FOX 12 it's important not to forget why these procedures are in place.

"The further we get away from 9-11, the more we forget about 9-11, and we have to remember that some of the things that we're looking for are small as a pen cap and those things are hard to find,” Melendez said. “We train our people, they are the best-trained security in the entire world, and we're going to do everything we can to keep passengers safe."

While some travelers may balk at the new procedures, they may welcome the news that the TSA is offering a way to skip the security line at the airport, in anticipation for spring break.

TSA PreCheck is a membership program that allows travelers to skip security clearance and get to their flight.

Travel officials say applicants need to apply online, go to an in-person interview and submit to a background check before being approved.

Travelers at Portland International Airport like Jennifer Price say the program makes the process of flying easier.               

“I've been traveling for work a little bit, and just this week I was traveling with a colleague, and she sailed through the security,” Price said. “I was waiting in a long line, and I thought, ‘It's about time I've done it.’"

A five-year membership to the program costs $85, and the TSA reports that more than four million passengers have enrolled already.

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