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TSA to hold PreCheck information sessions at John Wayne Airport

November 15, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The John Wayne statue at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
The John Wayne statue at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. (Kevin P. Casey / Los Angeles…)

Travelers with questions about the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program can get answers at three information sessions planned this month at John Wayne Airport (SNA). The agency announced Wednesday that it would roll out the expedited security screening program at the Santa Ana airport in December.

Prior to the start of the program at John Wayne, the TSA will conduct sessions at a temporary information center in Terminal A from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday (today), Monday and Wednesday. Those interested in enrolling will be able to begin the application process for what are called Trusted Traveler programs such as Global Entry for international travel, SENTRI for U.S.-Canada travel and NEXUS for U.S.-Mexico travel.

But first, some caveats. Members of frequent-flier programs with selected airlines -- Alaska, American, Delta, United and US Airways -- are eligible to apply. Also, members already in one of the Trusted Traveler programs sanctioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection qualify for the faster screening.

To join Global Entry, applicants must fill out an online application, pay $100, submit their fingerprints, undergo a background check and be interviewed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. If approved, membership is good for five years.

Travelers in the PreCheck program are allowed to leave their shoes, coats and belts on during security screening, and they don't have to remove laptops or liquids from their carry-on luggage.

But frequent-flier programs aren't the sole point of entry. In September, Loews Hotels & Resorts offered free enrollment (waiving the $100 fee) in Global Entry for a limited time to members of its YouFirst Platinum loyalty rewards program.

PreCheck, which began at Los Angeles International Airport last year, was launched in 2011. The TSA says about 4 million travelers have enrolled so far.

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