Pay the TSA Away

Price of dignity


Fed up with being padded down, groped, or scanned by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA)? It will soon be possible to avoid this treatment-for a price. Although the TSA has allowed so-called "trusted flyers" to be processed swiftly through security pre-screening services since October 2011, that option has not been available to most travelers.

Those excluded travelers have had to put up with a lot: In July, the Government Accountability Office reported almost 10,000 cases of employee misconduct at the TSA between 2010 and 2012. But if you fill out an application, get fingerprinted, pass a background check, and pay $85, you could soon get what will be called a Known Traveler Number as part of the TSA's PreCheck program, which will allow you to avoid some of the more unpleasant TSA security procedures for the next five years.

The TSA announced this change in July, and enrollment locations for the new Known Traveler designation will be introduced at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport this fall.

Travelers won't get out of everything, though. According to the TSA, random pat-downs will still be in place.