Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New TSA Security PreCheck Program Sounds Amazing

Oh cruel fate, you dealt me a crushing blow.

For months I was atwitter with anticipation. The TSA had dribbled out precious little information on their new expedited security program, but I had a golden ticket!

I had gotten the email to opt-in, apparently due to the fact that constant flights from Chicago to Bentonville Arkansas and back indicate a lack of major security risks.

But the solicitation didn't explain what the expedited security process would be, only that it would be in a couple airports and certain American Airlines frequent fliers would be eligible.

As previously noted in this space, DFW was one of the airports on the list for the pilot program. As also previously noted, I was going to be traveling through DFW this past weekend.

You have no idea how excited I was at the potential chance to use expedited security. A true testament to the uber-travel nerd I've become in two years of management consulting.

But yet, I mentioned a crushing blow and something about fate. Indeed.

You see my wife and I got to DFW, where I secretly hoped for a rolled-out red carpet and free champagne for expedited security folk (or if nothing else, at least a shoes-on security line).

Instead, no fanfare, no big band, and nothing special.

I hoped something magical would happen as I checked-in at the kiosk. In place of a boarding pass, a Willy Wonka style golden ticket perhaps? Or some kind of expert-traveler hall monitor-esque sash? What about a crapload of rainbows?

Nothing beyond the dull echo of roller bags wheeling around.

'What gives?' I thought, where the heck was all this pilot program stuff???

As I learned today, the TSA PreCheck program is wonderful in nearly every way I could've imagined.

They just didn't start it until the day after I flew out of DFW.

But while it's too late for me to take advantage on my trip, it doesn't mean the program is without merit! Far from it, as I learned from catching up on the travel news!

I watched the news report with envy as I read off the new conditions for the privileged.

No need to remove:

Light Outerwear
3-1-1 Compliant Bag
Laptop from Carry-on

Holy macaroni! The sign in the video was so pretty I could cry.

No taking off shoes, or belts, or jackets, or removing laptop computers, or liquid bags. NONE OF IT!

It's like the travel gods heard all of the prayers coming from weary consultants, auditors, salesmen, and rationally intelligent people everywhere!

I don't care what information I'd have to give the TSA. I'd give them dibs on my first born for this kind of thing! I'll pay anything, absolutely anything, to have that everywhere.

I just booked tickets to my brother's graduation in May.

The airport...ATL, another member of the pilot program.

I'm counting down the days.

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