The new TSA Pre-Check expedited screening thing seems to be in service. The TSA website indicates that passengers desiring the Pre-Check service must pay $85 and “verify identity and provide fingerprints at a TSA Pre✓™ enrollment center.”
Strangely, the symbol appeared on our boarding passes for a recent trip to San Francisco. To be honest, I had never heard of the program. Being an infrequent flyer, I had never applied. As we were departing MEM, the TSA greeter asked us if we were familiar with the Pre-Check procedures. He said we could leave shoes, jackets, belts, watches, on and not empty pockets, and that we only needed to take out our laptops. That was it – they didn’t even want to see our one-quart bags of gels and toothpaste.
Departing SFO, we were only asked to remove metal (keys, coins, cellphones) from our pockets, and were whisked through a special “for Pre-Check Only” line.
I have no idea how or why we received what seemed to be this special treatment. Maybe the government has Katy and I on a “good guys” list somewhere. It definitely made that part of the flying experience a little more pleasant.