Though it's not universally known, travelers who go through the expedited line at the airport, also known as the Pre-Check, don't need to remove their belts and shoes. In June 2014, when convicted domestic terrorist Sara Jane Olson was mistakenly sent through the Pre-Check line meant for low-risk travelers, it is unclear if she even knew.
"That's the glitch in the system. If that individual had been watch-listed, they would not have been designated as eligible for expedited screening," said Ken Fletcher, the TSA's head of risk.
During a House Hearing Wednesday, Fletcher explained that Olson and millions of others are automatically given Pre-Check status if their names aren't on certain lists and they meet certain criteria.
"In this specific instance, this individual is not, was not, and is not in the national terrorist screening database. And that's a discussion that is ongoing," said Fletcher
Another ongoing discussion is about the process of moving travelers in long lines to the shorter Pre-Check lines. It's called "Managed Inclusion," and it's the subject of a new report that criticizes the effectiveness of officers then using behavior analysis and other tactics to weed out higher risk passengers from the expedited lines.
"These changes have resulted in a massive increase in the populations eligible to receive Pre-Check," said Fletcher
The report shows nearly half of all domestic United States travelers no go through expedited screening – some because they applied, some because they are low risk, and some of unknown risk who simply just happened to be in long lines.
"We are concerned about TSA's response to our findings. The TSA has not accepted the majority of our recommendations," said Fletcher.