The estimated wait time at the Dallas – Fort Worth airport was longer for PreCheck security recently than it was for regular screening. Which one do you choose?
The new Analogic machines TSA is using is slowing things down, reducing the speed benefit inherent in PreCheck. And everyone with PreCheck knows to use that line! You don’t have to go through the full body imaging machine, just a metal detector. But what if it doesn’t save you time?
Normally when there’s a long PreCheck line I’ll use CLEAR. Most of the terminals at DFW airport do not offer CLEAR, a function of American Airlines influence (CLEAR is partially owned by both Delta and United, so American doesn’t permit it in terminals they control).
When PreCheck lines are short, I’ll skip CLEAR because CLEAR actually takes longer. You don’t have to take out your ID… unless you’re randomly selected to take out your ID. But each passenger takes longer to process, waiting for an employee who monitor you at a kiosk and then escort you to the front of the TSA queue.
Given equal wait times, I’d still take PreCheck. My bet is that PreCheck lines will actually move faster, with more seasoned travelers. And a lot of the variance is going to come down to the employees working the lines and the scanners. It would have to be a clearly and substantially shorter regular screening line before I opted for the potential indignities involved voluntarily.
However any PreCheck line that’s just as long or longer than general screening points to a failure of TSA to properly manage and staff PreCheck lines. Passengers have already been through a vetting process and therefore are supposed to be able to go through screening more quickly.
First TSA had “Rapiscan”. Now: “Analogic”. They TAUNT us with how easily they violate our rights. pic.twitter.com/QSEmtnff3N
— TheSmallestMinority (@smallstminority) August 14, 2022
Of course these new ‘Analogic’ machines take longer on a per-passenger basis. In theory they won’t require enforcement of as many rules, and reduce the need for re-screening of bags. In practice though they don’t promote time saved.