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Nearly half of TSA PreCheck travelers say airport lines are still too long

Nearly half of TSA PreCheck travelers say airport lines are still too long
Passengers walk through the TSA PreCheck lane at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport. A survey of travelers found that nearly half of TSA PreCheck travelers say the lines are too long. (Mike De Sisti / Associated Press) (Mike De Sisti / AP)

TSA PreCheck was devised by the Transportation Security Administration to speed up airport screening for travelers who submit to a government background check in advance.

But a survey of nearly 2,500 North American travelers found that 45% of fliers who enrolled in TSA PreCheck still think the lines are too long and the $85 cost for a five-year membership may not be worth it.

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The survey taken by OAG, a company that compiles and provides data to airlines, airports and others, found that the percentage of travelers who feel the TSA PreCheck lines are too long was even higher among business travelers, at 57%.

"When TSA PreCheck lines are unexpectedly long, travelers are feeling like they've been duped," said John Grant, a senior analyst for OAG.

TSA officials fired back at the survey with statistics that show the number of people signing up for the program has doubled, from 2.3 million last March to 4.6 million this March.

TSA data also shows that the nationwide average wait time for TSA PreCheck travelers is less than five minutes, compared to less than 10 minutes for travelers in standard screening lines.

"The proof is in the data," TSA spokeswoman Lori Danker said. "These are single-digit waiting times."

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