Get FREE tickets to the 10/21 Travel Show - use code TSFWP at checkout

Come for music, stay for expedited airport screening — TSA Precheck offered at LakeShake

You could make a trip to an official Transportation Security Administration Precheck enrollment center. Or you could knock out the application and fingerprinting in an RV between sets at this weekend's Country LakeShake music festival.

Precheck gives registered travelers access to faster airport security lines. There are about a dozen places to apply in the Chicago area, but IdentoGO, the company that handles Precheck enrollment, partnered with event promoter Live Nation last year to offer sign-ups at a handful of music festivals and concerts.

LakeShake, which runs Friday through Sunday at Northerly Island, will be the first Live Nation event with Precheck registration in Chicago.

"We're trying to make it as convenient as we can," said Charles Carroll, senior vice president of enrollment services at IdentoGO parent company MorphoTrust. "Rather than you come to us, we'll come to you."

Precheck flyers get access to expedited airport security lanes where they can skip the hassle of taking off shoes and jackets and pulling laptops from their bags. The service is available on 37 airlines at more than 180 airports. But applying involves fingerprinting, an FBI background check and $85 fee, which can discourage some travelers.

The TSA says programs like Precheck can improve security and make airport security more efficient by speeding through passengers considered low-risk. The agency's goal is to have 25 million people enrolled in expedited screening programs by 2019. That's nearly double the roughly 13 million enrolled today, including 4.9 million in Precheck.

Interest in Precheck spiked early last summer after higher-than-expected passenger numbers and TSA staffing shortages contributed to two-hour airport security lines in Chicago. During a few weeks, the TSA saw 10,000 enrollments per day, TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy said.

In some areas, the booming interest created another bottleneck as travelers waited for appointments to complete their Precheck applications. The TSA currently is getting about 6,000 to 7,000 enrollments a day, and wait times have died down, McCarthy said.

Any LakeShake attendees hoping to register at the festival will need to bring a government-issued photo ID with proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, such as a passport, birth certificate or green card. The application and fingerprinting process takes about 10 minutes, according to IdentoGO, and festivalgoers can — but aren't required to — make an appointment in advance. Applicants who pass the checks should receive their "known traveler number," or KTN, within 10 days, Carroll said.

If easier airport security isn't enough of an incentive, festivalgoers who register also will be able to use a "fast pass" lane to skip lines at LakeShake, according to IdentoGO.

LakeShake is currently the only Live Nation event in Chicago offering TSA Precheck registration, but Carroll said IdentoGO is discussing similar partnerships with other event promoters.

An earlier version of this story misspelled IdentoGO.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @laurenzumbach

Copyright © 2017, CT Now
46°