kids pulling suitcasesWhen traveling, especially flying, with kids, words like “fast” and “expedited” and “special lane” are music to a mom’s ears. Especially when planning to take three kids from China to the US. So when I heard recently about the new TSA pre-check initiative, I was thrilled.

TSA pre-check prescreens and makes a “risk assessment” and those who pass muster may, when their boarding pass is scanned, be sent to a fast lane where you may have such benefits as keeping your shoes on and your computer in your bag.

You have to “voluntarily participate” (read, agree to be have your life laid bare before them?) and it only covers 9 airports and certain airlines and categories of passengers. And of course the TSA makes no guarantees, even if you are selected, as to what procedures and requirements you will in fact face. If you don’t qualify, in the meantime, check out our tips for getting through airport security easily  or learn about the Clear Card.

I like the idea, but is this in fact an improvement? Thoughts?
Jenny Lin is a writer/editor working in Beijing. You can follow her @twinlins or keep up with her cross-cultural familial adventures at