Under the New Secure Flight Final Rule, TSA requires airlines to collect and transmit to TSA the following information:
Full Name (required) Itinerary (required) Date of Birth (required) Gender (required) Redress Number (optional)
Secure Flight requires that domestic aircraft operators request and collect full name as of May 15, 2009, and date of birth and gender as of August 15, 2009 for their domestic flights. For international flights, full name, date of birth, and gender must be requested and collected as of October 31, 2009. TSA has built some flexibility into the processes regarding passenger name accuracy. For the near future, small differences between the passenger’s ID and the passenger’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 passenger. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and their travel information.
Secure Flight does not require that the names on all of your IDs be identical. Passengers should ensure, however, that the name used when making a reservation matches the ID that will be used when the passenger checks in. To illustrate this point using a hypothetical example, if a passenger’s current driver’s license reads "John C. Doe," the passenger is not required to apply for a new driver’s license listing the complete middle name. However, if the passenger plans to use his driver’s license for identification purposes when traveling, he should ensure that he makes his flight reservation using the exact name on the driver’s license, "John C. Doe."
Passengers should ensure that the name used when making a reservation matches the ID that will be used when the passenger checks in. If that name differs from the one on their frequent flyer account, passengers should consult the aircraft operator frequent flyer program regarding the process to update their frequent flyer account information.
Passengers should ensure that the name, date of birth, and gender that the travel agency uses to book their travel exactly match the ID that the passenger plans to use while traveling. If the information does not match, the passenger should make the necessary changes to the booking in order to avoid unnecessary delays and extra steps when checking in for their flight. Aircraft operator and travel agency systems may not be able to support changes to the way passenger names are currently stored in various accounts. Aircraft operators and travel agencies are beginning to make the changes to their systems necessary to update passenger information to a format compatible with the Secure Flight requirements. Although it might be challenging to make these modifications now, passengers should find it progressively easier between now and 2010 deadlines.
If a passenger is determined by Secure Flight not to match the watch list, the passenger will be able to receive his or her boarding pass. If a passenger is identified as a potential match to the watch list, he or she will not be able to receive a boarding pass until checking in with an aircraft operator representative or at a self-service kiosk at the airport and providing his or her verifying identity document. An aircraft operator will not be able to print a boarding pass for an individual who is a confirmed match to the No Fly List. Please note that providing full and correct date of birth and gender information when making a reservation may help prevent being misidentified as a potential match to the watch list. Those who believe they have been mistakenly matched to a name on the watch list are invited to apply for Redress through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). Secure Flight uses the results of the redress process in its watch list matching process, thus preventing future misidentifications for passengers who may have a name that’s similar to an individual on the watch list. For more information on the redress process, visit www.dhs.gov/trip .
If a passenger’s name is a match to the watch list, Secure Flight will then compare the passenger’s date of birth and gender information to the date of birth and gender information of the watch list entry. Usually, this will result in a determination that based on the additional information, the passenger no longer matches a watch list entry. The second stage of implementation, which is expected to begin in late 2009, will assume the watch list matching function for passengers on international flights from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and international air carriers. TSA's goal is to vet 100 percent of all domestic commercial flights by early 2010 and 100 percent of all international commercials flights by the end of 2010. For more information on Secure Flight visit www.tsa.gov. Contact: TSA Public Affairs (571) 227-2829