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by Matt Alderton | January 14, 2016
More than 2 million travelers are now enrolled in TSA PreCheck, its voluntary trusted traveler program, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported yesterday. TSA attributes the milestone to the opening of more than 350 application centers nationwide -- including 38 at airports -- where travelers who apply online can conclude their enrollment by providing fingerprints and identification.

"We are pleased to announce this milestone as the continued growth of the trusted traveler population allows us to better focus our resources on high-risk, unknown passengers, while facilitating travel for low-risk individuals," said TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger. "We look forward to the continued expansion of TSA PreCheck as we continue our drive towards having more travelers directly enrolled in trusted traveler programs."

TSA PreCheck allows eligible fliers who pass a background check in advance of flying to pass more quickly through security checkpoints by utilizing an expedited screening lane that does not require passengers to remove their shoes, belts, coats, laptops, or carry-on toiletries.

In order to enroll in PreCheck, travelers previously had to be members of an airline's frequent flier program, or of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler program, such as Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS. Since 2013, however, U.S. citizens have been able to enroll in PreCheck directly by applying online, then visiting an enrollment site. The enrollment fee is $85 for a five-year membership. Once approved, travelers receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and the opportunity to go through TSA PreCheck lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports.

Travelers flying on 12 participating airlines are eligible: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, OneJet, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, and Virgin America.