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Here's how the you can get checked in for that flight out of town — while you tailgate

Harriet Baskas
The company that powers the technology behind the TSA's PreCheck program is offering to sign up fans at NFL games.


A company that runs the Transportation Security Administration's expedited check-in technology has teamed up with the National Football League to help get travelers through the airport faster.

Fans of the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers can now sign up for the TSA's security checkpoint shortcut program — called PreCheck — while they tailgate. Applying for TSA PreCheck costs $85, and is good for 5 years.

Currently, the pilot program is camped out at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and the 49ers' Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, with more teams expected to join the bandwagon within the next few weeks.

PreCheck offers access to expedited lanes at airport checkpoints, allowing passengers to wear their shoes, jackets and belts and maintain possession of important carry-on items. There are currently about 4.9 million approved PreCheck enrollees, but TSA's goal is to sign up as many eligible travelers as possible.

In that vein, some of the NFL's stadiums will be the first to partner with identity-verification company Idemia to bring the IdentoGO technology used by TSA to their venues. Idemia's tech will also provide some biometric-based technology that can enable 'trusted fan' programs to be deployed at some stadiums.

"Our partnership with the Jets and the 49ers allows us to reach as many as 75,000 fans at each home game, and enroll a high percentage of those people into the proven safe and secure program," Didier Lamouche, Idemia's CEO, told CNBC.

For now, Jets fans (ticketed or just tailgating) seeking to enroll in PreCheck will find a branded IndentoGo recreational vehicle parked at the MetLife entrance (between parking Lots E and F) on game days.

Over on the West Coast, 49ers fans will need to be ticketed for the day's home game to access IdentoGo's RV, which will be parked along the vendor-rich "Faithful Mile," located at the Green Parking Lot 1- Gate C).

For those not attending NFL games, the in-person verification process can take place at 44 airports. Some states, like Virginia. offer the service at a wide variety of out-of-airport offices, or IndentoGo locations. However, signing up at these football stadiums will come with a small bonus.

In addition to the time-savings for sports fans, those who sign up at Jets home games will receive a $20 gift certificate that can be used inside the stadium towards beer, food and merchandise purchases. Fans who sign up at either stadium will also get an approved clear plastic bag that can be used to take items in the stadium.

The San Francisco PreCheck sign-up kicks off this weekend, when the team plays the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium. Meanwhile, demand for the New York program has been so positive that IdentoGo had to double on-site enrollment capacity after the first game, said IndetoGo senior vice president Charles Carroll.

For those who wish to avoid paying the $85 fee, there are about a dozen credit cards—including selected brands of American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Club—that offer a fee credit for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs, as well as several airlines and hotel brands. These include United Airlines, Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Carlson Rezidor, which allow members to pay for the program with accumulated miles or travel points.

Clarification: IdentiGO is the entity running the pilot PreCheck sign-up program at NFL stadiums.



—Harriet Baskas is the author of seven books, including " Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can't or Won't Show You, " and the Stuck at the Airport blog. Follow her on Twitter at @hbaskas . Follow Road Warrior at @CNBCtravel.