News Column

Pittsburgh International to offer pre-check service

May 20, 2014

By Bobby Kerlik, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review



May 20--Pittsburgh International Airport officials are expected to announce on Tuesday that a new office at the airport will allow travelers to apply for a special service that would let them speed through security and customs lines.

The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection Officials will offer travelers expedited service for a fee.

"Anytime you can make business travel easier, it's great. I plan to apply," said Sean McCurdy, president of the Pittsburgh Business Travel Association and president and CEO of the Corporate Hotel Network. "TSA pre-check is phenomenal because it saves you time. Frequent travelers are low-risk, and they have a tight flight schedule. The last thing they want to do is stand in a security line for 45 minutes."

A TSA pre-check pass costs $85 for five years. Applicants undergo an FBI background check and are screened against no-fly lists. Those who are approved go through security faster in a dedicated pre-check line where they don't have to remove shoes, jackets or take laptops out of cases, said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein. The special lines are available at 118 airports.

Before the airport office opened, travelers in Pittsburgh had to apply at an office in Green Tree.

The office at the airport is the first in the country that shares space with Customs and Border Protection Officials. That department offers a pre-screen process to get through customs for international travelers called Global Entry.

The Global Entry fee is $100 for five years. It includes a TSA pre-check clearance. Global Entry allows travelers to avoid customs lines by scanning their passport and fingerprints at a kiosk, Feinstein said.

Travelers applying for the TSA pass can walk in and apply. Global Entry applicants must first fill out forms online, Feinstein said.

Allegheny County Airport Authority spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said the combined office will be on the north end of the ticketing level.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)