Is a Trusted Traveler Program almost a reality?

The pilot test is based on U.S. customs programs and initially will be available only to certain participants in the customs program and a limited number of air travelers. Those include certain frequent fliers on two airlines — American and Delta — flying out of certain airports. Delta passengers must be flying out of Atlanta and Detroit airports, and American Airlines passengers must be flying out of Miami and Dallas airports.

This doesn’t affect me yet.  I am a Delta frequent flyer, but I have only been through security in DTW 4 times…and 2 were in the non-Delta terminal.  Will I sign up for such a program?  I have to feel that the amount of personal information I divulge is worth the expediency.  The current CLEAR program requires a good bit of personal and biometric information and only confers advantages in a few airports.  I do currently fly through MCO often, but not often enough to pay the money for that program.  I also don’t have a NEXUS or Global Entry ID because I don’t travel internationally enough to justify the application process and fee.  Periodically I’ll go to Canada several times in a few months, then I won’t go again for over a year.

For me to buy in to any of these programs:

  1. Has to be available in Charlotte (my home airport)
  2. Has to be available in a few airports I frequent for work although these change every 6 months
  3. The cost has to be worth my time (which goes back to 1 and 2)
  4. I have to actually perceive a time/privacy saving.  The current Clear program just eliminates the line before the ID checker, at most airports you get dumped in the same line for the X Ray as everyone else.  You still have to take out your laptop and take off your shoes.  If the TSA’s program just cuts me to the front of the ID checking line then I don’t see much time savings to that most of the time.  I often wait longer to get through the X Ray than I do to get my ID checked since I can use frequent flyer lines to cut the queue to the ID checker.