Passengers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) can now opt to go through security checks faster when travelling from more than 180 airports in the US, if they join an expedited screening programme.
SIA is among seven new airlines to join the programme, called TSA PreCheck, the United States Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) said in a statement on Thursday (May 25). A total of 37 carriers are now part of the programme.
TSA PreCheck speeds up the screening process by giving approved, “low-risk” passengers access to expedited security lanes at US airports.
These lanes tend to be shorter, and passengers are not required to undergo certain security hassles like taking off their shoes, belts and jackets or removing their laptops from their carry-ons.
US citizens or permanent residents can apply to join the PreCheck programme for a fee of US$85 (S$117.75).
Singapore citizens are eligible to apply for PreCheck through Global Entry — a US trusted traveller programme.
Travellers of other nationalities can also apply for PreCheck through Global Entry or other Customs and Border Protection programmes such as NEXUS and SENTRI.
In a statement on Friday, SIA says its entry into the PreCheck programme will allow passengers travelling to and from the US to use self-printed or mobile boarding passes. This will allow travellers without check-in bags to check in online and proceed directly to the gate at airports. These changes will be implemented in the coming months, says SIA.
The national carrier added that it is the first Asian airline to be participating in the TSA PreCheck programme, although two Middle Eastern airlines - Etihad Airways and Emirates - are also included.
“Expanding TSA PreCheck allows us to increase overall security effectiveness and make the screening process more efficient,” said TSA acting administrator Huban Gowadia in a press release. “We are committed to the expansion of TSA PreCheck to strengthen aviation security and improve the passenger experience.”