The Days of Getting Free TSA PreCheck Are Almost Over

jgroup/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many U.S. travelers have experienced the luck of arriving at the airport and glancing at their boarding passes to see they have been granted access to the TSA PreCheck security lanes without ever having enrolled in the program.

On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration said those days are numbered.

Starting this month, the agency's program will narrow its focus to those who have formally signed on.

"This is part of the natural progression of the TSA PreCheck program," TSA spokesperson Michael England told ABC News. "In the future, we intend to only have enrolled or pre-vetted passengers, or those screened by K9s, in the expedited screening lanes."

The program, which allows pre-vetted passengers access to expedited screening lanes, has been steadily growing since the TSA opened the application program to the general public in 2013.

The population of the U.S. trusted traveler programs such as PreCheck and Global Entry currently sits at more than 12 million travelers.

The programs allows the TSA to "focus more attention on higher risk passengers and those we know less about," says England.

England said the agency does not expect lines to be affected by Wednesday's announcement.

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