Updated: 03/07/2014 6:30 PM
Created: 03/07/2014 4:27 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
The days of making sure you've got clean socks on before heading to the airport might be coming to an end.
"It just makes it so much easier. You don't have to take all that stuff out of your pocket, you know, and all that baloney," explained Dave Thomas. He's talking about TSA Pre-Check, a security screening program that makes it so pre-approved travelers can do things like leave liquids in their bags. It also means they can bypass busy security lines for lines that are practically nonexistent.
It's perfect for Thomas, who travels all the time for work. The same can be said for Art Crow.
"The line I went in today when I came through Pre-Check, it took me five minutes," Crow said. "If I would've gone through the other line, probably half an hour."
The TSA walked us through how it works. First, you apply. Now that an enrollment center is open at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, you can just walk up and do it there. There's also another enrollment center in Roseville for people who aren't already scheduled to fly. You need a couple forms of ID, you get your fingerprints scanned, you pay $85 for a background check, and once you're approved, you're in.
The pre-check program is now offered at 117 airports.
KSTP asked the TSA's Bob Ball how they know that they aren't approving bad guys or terrorists for the Pre-Check program. He said the background check is just one of many layers of security, adding. "It's not that you're just walking through, not being screened. You know, we still utilize the most advanced X-ray technology in the world right now for a carry-on," Ball said.
The $85 fee is all you'll pay for five years. At that point, you'll have to pay again for an updated background check. It's not cheap, but as Thomas pointed out, it's not sky-high either.
"It's worth it," he smiled. "Company will pay for it too."
If you want more information about TSA Pre-Check, you can find it here.