TSA's Secure Flight Enters First Public Phase
Secure Flight is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) traveler pre-screening program that will match limited traveler information against government watch lists to identify known and suspected terrorists, prevent known and suspected terrorists from boarding an aircraft, facilitate legitimate traveler air travel, and protect individuals' privacy. Secure Flight will add data elements that airlines do not currently collect and the airlines will transmit the data no later than 72 hours prior to flight time. If a reservation is made within 72 hours of the flight, the data will be transferred at the time the reservation is made. Secure Flight is intended to improve the monitoring of traveler's identification. Under the Secure Flight Final Rule, TSA will require airlines to collect and transmit to TSA the following information:
The biggest change for most travelers will be providing additional information when booking a reservation for air travel. Under Secure Flight, airlines will require that travelers provide their full name, date of birth, and gender when making a reservation to travel and will request a traveler's Redress Number and passport information if available. Secure Flight defines the individual's full name as it appears on the verifying ID held by that individual. Travelers should ensure that the data provided when making the reservation exactly matches the document the traveler will use for identification purposes at check-in. For example, if a traveler wishes to use his driver's license at check in and his license reads, "John C. Doe," his reservation should be made to ensure that his name matches that identifying document.
For the near future, small differences between the traveler's ID and the traveler's reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, should not cause a problem for the traveler. Over time, travelers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and their travel information.
What if my traveler profile or reservation does not get updated?
Your reservation and ticket will still be processed, however, you will be required to provide the data at the airport.
What is the procedure for emergency or last-minute travel?
Procedure for the traveler when making an emergency or last minute reservation should be business as usual, with the understanding that the Secure Flight data is still required.
What action is taken when a traveler's information is not acceptable?
As is the case today, the traveler must have a valid government ID and if they do not present an acceptable ID their travel will likely be inhibited.
© 2009. National Travel Service, Inc.