News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Frontier, Spirit to join TSA PreCheck

Ultra low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines plan to join TSA's PreCheck expedited security screening program.

PreCheck allows enrolled passengers a chance to keep their shoes, jackets and belts on, and to keep their laptops and permitted liquids in their bags.

Other airlines including Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Dallas-based Southwest, the two largest carriers at Hartsfield-Jackson, have been part of the TSA PreCheck program for years.

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit and Denver-based Frontier have been growing in Atlanta, but have not been part of PreCheck, limiting the ability of their passengers to get expedited security screening.

Now, Frontier says it plans to participate in PreCheck by the end of the third quarter. The move takes time because of Frontier's new reservations system and the need to develop technology for PreCheck, according to the airline.

PreCheck members get a "Known Traveler Number" and are vetted for PreCheck every time they fly, with the airline sharing certain information with TSA's system.

Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry said in an e-mail that as Spirit has grown, "we've started to hear from our customers that they would like us to participate in PreCheck."

Spirit  and Frontier both use Navitaire for their reservations systems, and Spirit said it decided to work with Navitaire and TSA to update the system to offer PreCheck.

Spirit plans to begin offering PreCheck to its customers this fall.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.