Chattanooga Airport Needs To Upgrade Its TSA PreCheck Benefits

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Dear Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Hart, 

I am a lifelong Chattanoogan who enjoys traveling. Since the birth of my toddler son in April 2016, my husband and I have been frequent patrons of the Chattanooga Airport for almost all of our flights, both business and pleasure, as this saves us time and is very convenient. In fact, our 22-month-old son has flown 24 segments with us in his short life--almost all of them originating from CHA. Due to our frequent travel, we recently made the decision to invest in TSA PreCheck. 

With that being said, I want to encourage you to offer the full TSA PreCheck benefits at the Chattanooga Airport. The laminated notecard waiver to keep your shoes on is not cutting it, especially in a metropolitan airport that is rapidly growing and constantly competing with ATL, BNA, or even BHM. Allow me to explain. 

On Friday, March 1, I was traveling alone with my toddler son from CHA to Sarasota, via ATL on Delta. As a young mother traveling solo, I was already nervous, and your TSA crew did nothing to help. With my son in a small umbrella stroller, I was instructed to remove both my laptop and his iPad from my backpack, remove him from the stroller, collapse the stroller (with both hands, forcing me to put my child on the ground), put the stroller on the scanning belt, remove my small lunchbox of baby food liquids (and then having them rescanned and tested), all while trying to corral a very mobile child in the crowded security area. Your crew did not honor my request to have the stroller hand-scanned so that I could keep my toddler in arms and avoid collapsing it to scan on the belt.

Most of this hassle could've been avoided if the full TSA PreCheck benefits were honored in CHA: electronics and liquids could've stayed put, thus allowing me to simply place my backpack on the scanner intact. If allowed to do this, I could have focused on my child and made sure we were securely checked in an efficient and orderly manner, so as not to slow down the line for other passengers. 

After spending an unnecessary amount of time chasing my toddler, gathering our belongings and putting all of the pieces back in their proper place, I approached one of your TSA agents and asked why the full PreCheck benefits were not honored here. Her response: "Because [they] don't want to invest in the proper security measures necessary for PreCheck and take up extra space." 

Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Hart, the time is now to invest in these modern conveniences for the CHA airport. Chattanooga is growing, travel through CHA is up 56 percent since 2013 (per the most recent comment in the Times Free Press article, dated March 5, 2018). The article also states that 75 percent of those travelers are business ones, likely with laptops and tablets, who have also invested in PreCheck status. Please make the proper investments and upgrade your TSA PreCheck benefits.  

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Elizabeth Griffin 

Aloyse Brown’s Positions On County Spending Are Too Clever By Half

Aloyse Brown criticizes Hamilton County government for a backlog of school maintenance. In her next breath, she criticizes a county budget that raised taxes. If Ms. Brown attended the same community forums I did, she would know that the budget changes were made, in no small part, to address spending on physical needs at Hamilton County schools.  Ms. Brown’s gambit strikes ... (click for more)

Chip Baker Is The Right Pick For District 2

I choose Chip Baker to be my representative for District 2 on the Hamilton County Commission. I choose Chip Baker because he is a strong supporter of public education. Build it and they will come. Signal Mountain residents had been dreaming of a high school for 50 years. Chip Baker played a pivotal role in bringing all the necessary parties together to make it happen. His 12 years ... (click for more)

Rhonda Thurman "Astounded" At Low Performance By Hamilton County Schools On TNReady; Dr. Johnson Says Some Gaps "Closing" Between County And State

County School Board member Rhonda Thurman said Thursday she was "astounded" by low performance on TNReady scores that were just released.   Noting that the county schools are below state levels in many areas, she said, "I am blown away. I am just astounded. We spend millions and ten millions and this is what we get."   She said, "If people want to know why ... (click for more)

Senator Corker Calls Judge Kavanaugh "A Superb Nominee"

 Senator Bob Corker on Thursday called Judge Brett Kavanaugh "a superb nominee" for the U.S. Supreme Court.   He made the statement after meeting with President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.   Senator Corker said, “I had a great meeting today with Judge Kavanaugh and think he is a superb nominee. It is inspiring to me to see ... (click for more)

UTC Wrestling Coach Heath Eslinger Resigns

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Mark Wharton announced the resignation of wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger today.  Eslinger, who spent nine seasons as head coach of his alma mater, informed Wharton of his decision this morning.  "It was always my hope that Heath Eslinger spend the rest of his career leading our wrestling ... (click for more)

Vols' Nigel Warrior Named To Bednarik Award Watch List

Tennessee junior defensive back  Nigel Warrior  has been named to the 2018 Bednarik Award Watch List. Warrior is the first Vol to be named to the Bednarik Watch list since the defensive trio of Derek Barnett, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton were named to the Bednarik's preliminary list in 2016.   Warrior totaled 83 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss ... (click for more)