More Bomb-Sniffing Dogs at Airports Could Mean Slower TSA PreCheck Lines

Apr 2, 2018

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Your TSA PreCheck line might be getting a whole lot slower.

Why? Because officials say there are new security procedures being implemented that involve the increased use of explosive detection canines and in some instances, the reconfiguration of the lines at security checkpoints at airports across the country. That could mean more non-PreCheck passengers in the TSA pre-check line.

The new program increases the number of passengers that are screened by the bomb-sniffing dogs. As a result, certain passengers will be eligible for expedited screening through the pre-check line — even if they’re not enrolled in PreCheck.

“As part of TSA’s effort to raise the baseline for aviation security worldwide, we implemented procedures designed to increase our explosive detection capabilities,” a TSA spokesperson said in an emailed statement to TPG. “These new procedures involve the increased use of explosive detection canines and in some instances, the reconfiguration of checkpoint lines. We believe this additional screening measure will enhance security and allow us to stay ahead of evolving threats.”

After a TPG reader reported seeing non-PreCheck passengers in the pre-check line at New York’s JFK Airport, we posted in the TPG Lounge on Facebook to see if other TPG readers had noticed the new security checkpoint line configurations:

TPG reader Kiel S. said: “SFO had that this morning. [PreCheck] still benefited by merging into the normal line closer to the TSA agents but it was still an awkward setup. There was also a dedicated lane for the canine to walk the length of the line.”

TPG reader Steve S. said: “Just happened in LAS on Monday. Canines were around but we were told that ‘every line was TSA [PreCheck]’ was not a great experience when you pay for something and folks who have no clue what the are supposed to do the TSA line.”

TPG reader John H. said he saw the new line procedure at “MCO two different times. Once yes on the canine. The other no, they were using some short of machine that randomly selected people.”

TPG reader Chris D said: “Atlanta. 5:30AM United terminal. Took about 50 people out of the regular TSA line and dropped them in the pre line. It was a disaster of poor organization. No dogs or other extra security.”

The TSA noted that the canines are trained to detect the explosive odor from a distance, so even if passengers do not notice the canines from the pre-check line, that doesn’t mean they aren’t being utilized.

Featured image by Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images.

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