This blog post was updated on February 10, 2016.
The security program, TSA PreCheck, started under the promise of providing pre-screened travelers faster security lines at more than 150 airports across the U.S. However, those fast lines ended up clogged with travelers who did not actually pay the sign-up fee.
Those free passes are coming to a halt as the TSA has announced it will stop allowing non-enrolled travelers — who have been pre-screened using behavior detection officers and other layers of security — into the PreCheck lines, USA Today reports
. The agency is shifting toward only allowing those who have paid their dues to have the unique privilege.
The news comes as those who have enrolled frequently complained about being stuck in longer lines behind those who didn’t pay, nor know the rules. Travelers under TSA PreCheck don’t need to remove their shoes, light jackets or belts. They can also leave liquids and laptops in their carry-on luggage.
In order to quality for PreCheck, members must pay $85, fill out an application and show up to be fingerprinted and provide documentation at a scheduled appointment. Once members are approved, the enrollment is valid for 5 years.
According to SF Gate
, more than 1.5 million people have been accepted into PreCheck. Some travel experts argue that as more and more people are approved for PreCheck, the faster lines will dwindle. At the same time, since the TSA tighten up the reins by barring non-enrolled travelers from PreCheck lines, some members claim wait times have gone decreased already.