Jacksonville, FL - It’s the busiest time of year to catch a plane, but the TSA wants to make your trip as painless as possible.
TSA’s pre-check program was expanded to Jacksonville International Airport this year, and Federal Security Director Ed Goodwin tells us the screening will be in full force this week.
“It lets us focus our efforts on people we know a lot less about and high risk passengers,” Goodwin says.
The pre-check program is open to frequent fliers who have had the opportunity extended through the airline, the US Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler program, or a Canadian program called NEXUS. If you qualify for pre-check, you get a quicker security experience which includes not taking off your shoes or light jacket, not taking your small liquids out of your luggage, and not taking your laptop out of its case.
While this option is not currently open to all JIA travelers, Goodwin says there will be non-registered travelers that are selected for a one-time pre-check.
“It’s like winning the airport lottery,” he says.
Goodwin says they are screening passengers ahead of time based on where they are flying and other factors. If you are selected, pre-check will be written on your boarding pass, and you’ll get a quicker check this one time.
If you’re not registered or selected, Goodwin says there are still several other things you can do to make your airport experience easier. He recommends leaving 90 minutes to get through to your gate, and that means once you get to security not just when you drive up to the airport.
“You still have to park, you still have to drop your bags off, you still have to go to the ticket counter, you still have to print out your boarding pass,” he says.
Additionally, Goodwin says you should un-pack your bag before packing again. He says countless people every year forget they have a gun or weapon in their luggage, and once security finds that your airport experience is exponentially delayed.
JIA is one of one hundred airports nationwide to have the pre-check program.