WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of travelers in the United States who waited 20 minutes or more at an airport security checkpoint this summer dropped by 64 percent since last year, federal government figures show.
The Transportation Security Administration attributed the drop to the growth of its TSA Pre program, which allows passengers considered low-risk travelers to go through an expedite screening process. The program, begun in December, is in place at 118 U.S. Airports.
TSA figures released this week showed the percentage of travelers who experienced checkpoint wait times of 20 minutes or longer was 1.3 percent in June, July and August of 2013, compared to 0.4 percent during the same months this year.
The drop occurred even though the total number of summer passengers increased by 4.4 million people this summer, according to TSA figures.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Susan Heavey)