KCI to offer express screening checks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This fall, getting through airport security at Kansas City International Airport will be a lot easier for select passengers.

Starting Oct. 1, Gate B will have a new pre-check area. Passengers won't need to take off their shoes, jackets or belts, or dump their laptop into a bin.

The TSA pre-check expedited screening program will be added at 60 U.S. airports, including KCI and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

The TSA has faced constant criticism since 9/11 for inconveniencing and embarrassing travelers.

"We are looking for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way possible," TSA administrator John Pistole said.

The pre-check area at KCI will be limited to terminal B gates, which includes Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Delta will start the program in October and Southwest in November.

Some travelers, like frequent fliers, will be invited by the airlines to participate in the pre-check program. Otherwise, travelers can apply = for advanced screening.

To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen, complete an online application, pay an $85 fee for 5-year eligibility, and then verify identity and provide fingerprints at a TSA pre-check enrollment center.

The TSA said it will continue random security measures. The program is currently used by 15 million people across the U.S.

Jon Allen, a TSA spokesperson, says the pre-check program will actually increase security, despite allowing passengers to breeze through.

"We look at TSA pre-check as an enhancement to security, because it enables us to offer a benefit -- expedited security -- to those passengers we know more about and focus our resources more sharply on those passengers we don't know much about," he said.

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