TSA chief: Passengers 'experiencing a different TSA at the airport'

In particular, Pistole touted the TSA's "Pre-Check" known passenger program, which allows passengers to volunteer information to the agency in exchange for the possibility of receiving expedited screening.

“You keep your shoes on, you keep your belt on, keep your light jacket on, keep your small-sized liquids and your laptop in your carry-on bag — you don’t even have to take those out — and then you go through a walk-through metal detector," Pistole said of the "Pre-Check" program.  

Pistole told the paper that the known-traveler program has proven popular since its initial rollout.

“We’ve had about 45 million children, 12 and under, who have gone under expedited physical screening," he said. "It helps us in terms of expediting the time it takes to screen, especially for the elderly. We’ve probably had 25 million people, 75 and older, who are allowed to keep their shoes on; it’s all based on what past and current intelligence informs us of. If you haven’t been through TSA PreCheck, yet I strongly encourage you to sign up.”

TSA is scheduled to begin allowing passengers to sign up for "Pre-Check" directly for a fee of $85. Previously, the program was only offered to passengers who were flying on flights on specific airlines out of a pre-selected list of airports.