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Bill to Tighten Airport Security and Speed Up Lines Gets the Go-Ahead

A bipartisan aviation bill designed to heighten airport security measures while shortening security lines was approved by the transportation committees in both houses of Congress on Wednesday. The bill would also require airlines to give you a refund for fees for checked bags when luggage is lost or delayed 12 hours or more on domestic flights or 15 hours or more on international flights.

Proposed in response to airport attacks in Brussels and Istanbul earlier this year, the increased security measures would include twice as many TSA teams stopping and searching suspicious passengers in airport public areas outside of security checkpoints—which is where the attacks in Belgium and Turkey took place. The bill also would require tougher vetting of airport employees and an increase in random employee inspections, in order to reduce the threat of insider plots. 

How would airport lines shrink amid a security boost? Congress is counting on better management and marketing of the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program, which expedites the screening process for passengers who have been vetted and deemed low risk. The bill would have the TSA hire a marketing firm to drum up more public interest and enrollment in the program, and the security agency would have to ensure that PreCheck lanes stay open during high-volume travel times. 

The bill is expected to pass in both houses.