TSA Changing Bomb-Sniffing Dog Policy to Not Slow PreCheck Lines
Frequent flyers have been up in arms since April over non-PreCheck travelers being filtered into PreCheck lines. The Transportation Security Administration began rearranging lines after deploying more explosive detection canines to speed along the security process.
Passengers who had been sniffed by the bomb-detecting dogs were allowed through PreCheck, even if they weren't PreCheck members, slowing down the PreCheck lines.
Our TPG Lounge members saw the policy at airports in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Orlando and Atlanta. But now, TSA is reassuring passengers that new procedures are in the works to continue the expanded use of the canines, along with fair PreCheck lines.
The agency is looking into ways to create separate lines for those sniffed by the canines in airports that can handle it. So as early as “late fall maybe into early next year," a prototype phase will be in the works to test out the possibility, TSA chief David Pekoske told USA Today's editorial board on Wednesday.
TSA has been defending its position of bringing in additional canines. "If you’re swept by a canine, you do have lower risk. . . The whole idea is put the right level of security based on the risk that we think a passenger suggests," Pekoske explained.
And this is just the beginning of what TSA intends to implement with canines. Beyond having them at checkpoints during high-volume times, TSA wants to eventually have bomb-sniffing dogs continually around to check incoming passengers.
The new policy's implementation hopes to be more sensitive to paying PreCheck users who have been affected by slow lines because of the current arrangement. Pekoske was clear to mention passengers' negative sentiments toward slow PreCheck lines are understandable.
"I can understand why a PreCheck passenger who paid the $85 for the five years (and) voluntarily submitted additional information about themselves for a background check (would be disappointed) when they’re standing in the PreCheck lane and see a whole bunch of passengers who are not in PreCheck but have been screened by a canine all of a sudden get in front of them," he said.
H/T: USA Today