Air passengers accustomed to checking in at the gate may find
themselves sent back to square one the ticket counter as part of a
new procedure being tested by the U.S. Transportation Security
In recent months, e-ticket printouts were accepted at the
initial security checkpoints, but now passengers must present
boarding passes along with their photo I.D.s before they will be
waved on to the metal detectors.
“We’re trying to move selectee screening up to the checkpoint,”
where security personnel and equipment already are stationed,
explained Brian Turmail, an administration spokesman.
The initial participants include: American Airlines flights from
Terminal 4, Los Angeles International Airport; JetBlue Airways
flights from Long Beach (Calif.) Municipal Airport and Terminal 6,
John F. Kennedy International Airport; Continental Airlines flights
from Pier C, Newark (N.J.) Liberty International Airport; and all
carriers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Delta Air Lines and
Northwest Airlines flights from Pier D, LaGuardia Airport, were
added Nov. 19.
Turmail said the current practice of random security checks at
the gate can delay departures. In concert with the airlines, then
the administration is putting more emphasis on the initial
“A bit of random gate screening still will be done,” he said,
but not for every flight.
Turmail acknowledged last week that the administration Web site
still said a printout was sufficient, but he said the rollout has
been so smooth, “we’re moving faster than our material people.”
He added that signs and other consumer alerts will be in place
soon. A check of several airport and airline Web sites last week
also found outdated information.
Although the new requirement has been described as a test,
Turmail said the administration’s head, Adm. James M. Loy, “would
like to see this as the future of selectee screening,” so it
probably will be standard practice soon.