Registered Travelers Might Speed Up the Line

The Registered Traveler program is being expanded to cover more than 20 major airports around the US from the current six airports. This some have said could be an “EZ PASS” for Airport Security. CBS News had this information in their special report.

To become a Registered Traveler, a passenger must pay a one-time fee of US$100, go through a background check and a biometric iris scan. On average, RT lanes can process three times more people than normal security lines.

With planes packed to record capacity and security concerns heightened after the foiled terrorist attacks in Britain, the expansion of the registered traveler (RT) program at least may give passengers something to look forward to as they pad barefoot through metal detectors this summer.

Some analysts say the RT program could spur a series of new conveniences at airports, such as special RT parking lots and waiting rooms. Eventually, RT cards could be used to ease screening logjams at places like sports stadiums and large concerts, they say.

But many see another benefit to RT: It could help struggling airlines improve their bottom lines by cutting the hassle factor enough to entice more people back to the air.

“The most profound aspect of this could be its impact on airlines’ revenues, profits, and share prices,” says Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition in Radnor, Pa. “That’s because the last six passengers generally make a difference between profit and loss on a given flight and, since 9/11, there’s been a falloff in business travel that’s never rebounded.”