Fly a lot? Check-in option cuts wait

For The Tribune

The first Transportation Security Administration regional office to locate outside a major metropolitan area has opened in Columbus to give travelers flexibility on conventional security checks.

The local TSA office is offering area travelers a chance to participate in its Pre-Check program, which allows frequent fliers to go through security without removing their shoes, outerwear or belt or being asked to take a laptop from its case.

Eleven major airlines at 122 airports, including those used most frequently by south-central Indiana travelers, are participating in the Pre-Check program, TSA regional spokesman Mark J. Howell said.

In addition to being exempt from the clothing and laptop requirements, the more than 700,000 participating travelers no longer will have to remove a variety of liquids and gels used for personal hygiene from a carry-on bag, Howell said.

The program is expected to cut down on the wait time for non-frequent fliers going through conventional security checks, he said.

Area residents will need to pre-enroll online at tsa.gov. During this initial process, applicants will be provided an appointment time at the recently opened TSA application center at 2717 Illinois Ave. in Columbus, just east of Columbus Signature Academy Fodrea Campus.

Upon arrival, applicants will be fingerprinted and asked to provide background information, such as a government-issued ID showing their current address. They also will need to show a U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate

or valid immigration documentation.

Once approved, passengers will receive a “known traveler number” (KTN) that can be utilized at

participating airports and security checkpoints.

However, Howell emphasized that random and unpredictable security measures will continue, so participants can’t always be guaranteed expedited screening at airports.

The cost of a five-year membership in the

TSA Pre-Check program is $85.

Additional information is available online at tsa.gov.

Regional participants

The following airports and airlines frequently used by Bartholomew County travelers are now participating in the Transportation Security Administration’s new Pre-Check Program.

Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways

Louisville International Airport (SDF)

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

  • Air Canada
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • United Airlines
  • US Airways
  • Virgin America

On the Web

For more information about how to apply for the Pre-Check program, visit tsa.gov.

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.