TSA

Sign up for TSA Precheck at some NFL games

 

Football fans fumbling over where to sign-up for the Transportation Security Administration’s security checkpoint shortcut program – called TSA PreCheck – can now take care of that task during NY Jets and San Francisco 49ers home games at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, respectively.

The NY Jets and the San Francisco 49ers are the first to partner with identity-verification company Idemia to bring the IdentoGO technology and the PreCheck verification program to sports stadiums.

In the next few weeks, more sports teams are expected to join the program, which also provides some biometric-based technology that can enable ‘trusted fan’ programs to be deployed at some stadiums.

For now, Jets fans (ticketed or just tailgating) seeking to enroll in PreCheck will find a branded IdentoGo recreational vehicle parked at the MetLife entrance (between parking Lots E and F) on game days.

San Francisco 49ers fans on the west coast will need to be ticketed for the day’s home game to access the IdentoGoRV, which will be parked along the vendor-rich “Faithful Mile” (at the Green Parking Lot 1- Gate C).

Applying for TSA PreCheck costs $85 (and is good for 5 years) and the in-person ID verification process can take place at 44 airports, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle offices or at a wide out-of-airport IdentoGo locations

But signing up at these football stadiums will come with a small bonus.

In addition to the time-savings for sports fans, those who sign up at New York Jets home games will receive a $20 gift certificate that can be used inside the stadium towards beer, food and merchandise. Fans who sign up at either stadium will also get an approved clear plastic bag that can be used to take items in the stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers PreCheck sign-up program kicked this past this weekend, but response to the program at NY Jets home games has been so positive that IdentoGo had to scramble to double on-site enrollment capacity after the first game.

 Who gets your $85 and can you skip that fee?

 According to TSA, the $85 fee a traveler pays to apply for the PreCheck program breaks down this way:

The vendor – IdentoGo is currently the exclusive provider of TSA PreCheck – gets $34.50, which TSA says, is used for staffing, leases, infrastructure, web, network, materials, equipment, mobile events, call centers and other services for the all the application sites around the country.

Later this year or next, TSA says it plans to issue a request for proposals from other companies that want to bid to provide this service.

$12.50 is the FBI’s Fee.

The balance of the fee goes to TSA, which uses its portion for administration of the application program.

For those who would like to avoid paying the fee, there are about a dozen credit cards (including selected brands of American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club) that offer a fee credit for the TSA PreCheck (and Global Entry) program and several airlines and hotel brands, including United Airlines, Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Carlson Rezidor, that allow members to pay for the program with mile or points.

(A slighty different version of my story about sign-ups for TSA Precheck extending to NFL stadiums first appeared on CNBC.)

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165 guns found at airport checkpoints in 2 weeks. What??

On the TSA blog each week there’s a report on the number of firearms – and loaded firearms – officers find at airport checkpoints.

The weekly numbers – and images – always alarm me. But this week’s report on the number of firearms found in the past TWO weeks is super alarming: over the past two weeks TSA officers found 165 firearms at airport checkpoints.

79 one week. 86 the week after.

Of those 165 firearms, TSA tells us 144 were loaded (!) and 56 had a round chambered.

Whenever I write about this I get emails telling me not to worry.  “Those aren’t terrorists,” people tell me, “Just innocent ‘regular’ people who forgot they had their guns with them.”

What happens to these people? Often, nothing.

Depending on the state and the situation, travelers are somtimes just told to come back without their gun. Sometimes there’s a fine. Occasionally, an arrest.

You’d think that since by law no passengers are allowed to bring guns into the secure side of an airport – or onto an airpane – the number of people bringing guns to the airport would be decreasing.

But the yearly tallies just go up.

Any solutions??

 

 

 

 

 

NY Jets football fans can sign up for TSA Precheck at home games

Football fans take note:  If you keep meaning to sign up for TSA Precheck but can’t make the time to go to the airport for the in-person interview part of the application, you now have the option of taking care of that task at NY Jets home games at MetLife Stadium.

An IdentoGO processing station will be set up between lots E and F outside of the MetLife gate during home games throughout the 2017 season.

More details here.

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Hate extra airport pat-downs? TSA offering 1.5 million to fix the system

The extra pat-downs passengers often have to undergo at airport security checkpoints are not only irritating to those of us not interested in having our body parts touched by strangers in public, they make the lines go slower for everyone.

What triggers those secondary pat-downs? False alarms.

A high rate of those false alarms are triggered by expensive and, evidently, not too reliable, potential-threat algorithms the Transportation Security Administration purchases from the manufacturers of airport scanners.

In an effort to fix the problem TSA has put up $1.5 in prize money to see if someone else – maybe you? – can improve the accuracy of the threat prediction algorithms.

The contest, being run in partnership with Kaggle  will award eight prizes (1st prize: $500,000; 4th to 8th prize: $100,000) and to enter you’ll need to evaluate a set of body scans.

These are real body scans, from TSA volunteers, and the “images may contain sensitive content,” the rules explain. So contest participants are asked to “conduct yourself with professionalism, respect, and maturity when working with this data.”

Here are links to deadlines and more information. Good luck!