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TSA PreCheck Is Stuck in Its Own Security Line

Travelers may take two or three additional trips per year if hassles could be reduced.
The TSA PreCheck expedited security line at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.

The TSA PreCheck expedited security line at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.

Photographer: Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

People who fly regularly often sing the praises of TSA PreCheck—the lane where travelers keep their belts, shoes, jackets, and laptops as the masses strip. But it turns out that expanding this much-praised option isn’t all that easy.

The Transportation Security Administration has been eager to increase the number of Americans enrolled in PreCheck, which costs $85 for five years. One way to do this is to add additional vendors to review applications, a process the TSA spent the past year doing until it abruptly stopped, citing cybersecurity concerns. The agency said it couldn’t guarantee personal information used in testing proposed systems would be protected.