'Pre-check' screening lane opens at O'Hare

March 20, 2012 3:38:42 PM PDT
The Transportation Security Administration introduced a new ''pre-check'' lane at Chicago's O'Hare Airport Tuesday.

The new system pre-screens people who volunteer to participate prior to flying. Passengers have to pay $100 for a background check.

The pre-check lane is an attempt to speed up security lines.

Hundreds of American Airline passengers volunteered to participate in the program.

"If a passenger is eligible for expedited screening through the program, that information will be embedded in their bar code on their boarding pass," said Kathleen Petrowsky, TSA federal security director.

At O'Hare, pre-check travelers used a dedicated lane to expedite the screening process Tuesday.

David Teitelbaum of Texas has used pre-check before at other airports

"You don't have to take your shoes off," he said. "I don't have to take my laptop out. You just breathe right through."

"It is faster. My computer stays in the bag," passenger Hank Bongers said

Eligible participants include frequent flyers who have been invited to participate by the airlines as well as individuals who have enrolled online.

Frequent flyer Richard Czerniawski was invited by American Airlines to participate.

"I think it's going to be very, very simple," said Czerniawski . "Before it was very difficult. It was a waste of time waiting in line all the time. I'm running out of life. I'm going to be 65 in a few weeks and I think about, my gosh, how much time I waste standing in line."

"It is an expedited process for those who travel internationally as well, coming back into the United States, as well and it helps you on your travel domestically," said Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner.

"It should have a positive impact on the entire traveling population," said Chris McLaughlin, TSA assistant administrator.

Starting on Monday, individuals who are 75 years and older and children under 12 are allowed to go through a reduced screening.

"Our goal is to assess the risk that they pose to aviation and then apply appropriate screening procedures to those individuals," said McLaughlin.

O'Hare is the tenth US airport to use the special lanes.

TSA will be expanding to additional airports throughout the year. By the end of 2012 the program is expected to be operational at a total of 35 airports.

To learn how to apply, visit www.globalentry.gov