When should TSA PreCheck be offered at no cost to travelers?

Sheldon H. Jacobson, Arash Khatibi, Ge Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TSA PreCheck is the primary vehicle used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to promulgate its risk-based security strategy. To enroll in PreCheck requires travelers to pay a fee of $85 (or more, through programs like Global Entry or Nexus), which may provide an obstacle for some travelers. The TSA has promoted TSA PreCheck since it makes the air system more secure, provides faster security screening throughput for all travelers, and reduces TSA screening costs (both in manpower and equipment). This third point has led critics of the program to suggest that PreCheck should be offered at no cost to travelers. This paper explores this suggestion and suggests that for certain high volume travelers, offering them TSA PreCheck at no cost is economically attractive to the TSA. The additional benefits of a more secure air system and faster security screening throughput makes the no-cost option a viable strategy for ramping up the number of high volume travelers enrolled in TSA PreCheck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Transportation Security
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Aviation security
  • precheck
  • prescreening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Law


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