Southwest Airlines to TSA Precheck Customers: Wait 10 Minutes, Get Points

Nobody enjoys waiting in line for security at the airport, but Southwest is giving its customers something to compensate them for longer waits—at least at one airport.

The airline announced a new offer Monday that rewards any TSA Precheck passengers at Oakland International Airport who wait in line for more than 10 minutes an extra 2,500 Rapid Reward points.

It's unclear how many passengers Southwest will actually end up handing points over to. In April 2018, 92 percent of flying passengers who have TSA Precheck waited less than five minutes in line, according to the TSA Precheck website.

The TSA Precheck site also says "you can speed through security and don't need to remove your: shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets."

Passengers who have enrolled in TSA Precheck have a Known Traveler Number that qualifies them for the usually shorter and sometimes faster security line at the airport. Flyers can get TSA Precheck status by applying online and scheduling an in-person background check at an enrollment center. That background check includes fingerprinting. The fee for five years of TSA Precheck is $85.

The program at Oakland Airport is a pilot for Southwest and only runs until June 29 of this year. If successful, the airline might expand it to other airports across the country where TSA Precheck is accepted, SFGate reported.

Part of the reason Southwest can implement this plan in the Oakland Airport is that Southwest is the only airline in Terminal 2, SFGate reported. This means only Southwest customers are hopping in the security line in that specific terminal, making it easier for the airline to monitor wait times. Whether or not this would be possible in other airports across the country is unclear.

Southwest has been plagued by flight incidents over the past few months, including a mid-air engine explosion that resulted in the death of a passenger, a flight with a broken window and a flight that lost pressure.

Southwest did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.