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TSA Expands PreCheck Access for Teens and Prepares for Busy Summer Travel Season

As the busy summer travel season approaches, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced an expansion of TSA PreCheck access. Teenagers aged 13 to 17 can now accompany their parents or guardians who are enrolled in PreCheck through security screening if they are traveling on the same reservation and have the PreCheck designation on their boarding pass. This policy change complements the existing allowance for children 12 and younger to accompany adults without restriction.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske assured travelers that the agency is well-prepared for the upcoming summer season. In fact, Sunday marked the busiest day for TSA screening since the start of the pandemic, with 2.67 million people screened, representing a 12% increase compared to last year. Pekoske emphasized that TSA has increased its staff this year, ensuring a smoother travel experience. Furthermore, higher pay for employees, effective from July 1, has contributed to the agency's improved footing.

To handle high passenger volumes, TSA has enlisted a force of 1,000 officers who are willing to travel to other airports and provide assistance as needed. Pekoske expects to maintain standard wait times of 30 minutes or less in regular screening lines and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck lines.

The agency has implemented new technology to enhance security and efficiency. Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) allows officers to verify passengers' identification documents without a boarding pass, with over 2,000 CAT units deployed to numerous airports. Additionally, Computed Tomography (CT) technology is being rolled out for carry-on screening, providing officers with 3D images of bags and reducing the need for physical searches. Passengers in CT lanes will no longer need to remove liquids or laptops from their bags. Currently, 678 CT units have been deployed to 218 US airports.

With these improvements and initiatives, TSA aims to ensure a seamless and enjoyable travel experience for passengers during the summer season.