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Low cost airlines Spirit and Frontier join TSA PreCheck

Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines jetliners sit stacked up at gates along the A concourse at Denver International Airport. The carrier is expected to participate in TSA PreCheck by the end of August.
(Associated Press)

The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program was supposed to cut airport wait times by letting passengers who clear a government background check to use an expedited security checkpoint.

One reason TSA PreCheck hasn’t had a bigger impact on wait times, though, is that not every major carrier participates in the program, meaning their passengers can use only the standard TSA checkpoints.

That is changing.

In May, the TSA announced that Aeromexico, Cape Air, Etihad Airways and Seaborne Airlines are joining 12 other carriers in the TSA program.

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Denver-based Frontier Airlines now says it plans to participate in PreCheck by the end of August, while Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines is planning to join sometime this fall.

Combined, Frontier and Spirit carry only about 5% of domestic air traffic, but their passenger totals have been growing fast as both airlines expand to new markets.

Fliers who use the TSA PreCheck lines don’t have to remove their shoes, belts or light coats and can leave their laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags.

Airlines can participate in TSA PreCheck voluntarily, but to do so, they must upgrade their reservation software to designate which passengers have been cleared to use the TSA PreCheck lines.

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hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter

 

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