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Are you sure this is a randomized test? Maybe it's just a way to expedite screening by only giving some (random) passengers the full shake-down. Many countries do something very similar for their customs screening. Random checks are pretty effective at deterring crime and much more efficient.


I am so using this in my AP Stats class. I am going to have the learners create a possible experimental design given the information in this post.
Thank you!

Chris P

My partner and I both travel a lot and have been using TSA Pre-check for the last year.

Pre-check is the old school security that you were randomized into. It was first offered to US Citizens who had gone through a background checks for immigration fast lanes (Global Entry or Nexus) plus ultra frequent flyers for major US carriers (50k miles or more initially) at select airports (SLC our home was one of the first).

It also had randomization involved in that when you got to the line check, your boarding card was scanned and 3 beeps meant Pre-check and 1 beep meant regular screening. From my experience this gave pre-check about 80% of the time and bumped to regular 20% of the time, so you always had to be prepared to switch lines and screening modes.

They may be practicing for higher volumes. Ninety percent of the time I go through the precheck line there is no one in the line so they may not know throughput.

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