New Federal Requirement for Airline Travel
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the Secure Flight program, which enhances the security of U.S. domestic and international commercial air travel by using improved watch list matching. Airlines and/or travel agencies, such as Ascot Travel or National Travel Systems, will request additional information for use in the Secure Flight Program when making reservations.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires the airlines to collect and transmit the following Secure Flight Passenger Data:
- Passengers Full Name, as shown on State or Government issued identification documents such as a State ID Card, Drivers License or Passport,
- Date of Birth,
- Gender, and Redress Number (if available).
The TSA compares the Secure Flight Passenger Data against the government watch list, and provides the airline with the boarding pass printing results to allow the airline to issue the boarding pass. Although the DHS ruling only governs airlines, airlines and travel agents can collect the Secure Flight Passenger Data during the reservation process to ensure a smooth travel experience for each traveler. The airlines transmit Secure Flight Passenger Data for both ticketed and non-ticketed reservations 72 hours, 48 hours, and 24 hours prior to departure, and then immediately thereafter. The data collected for Secure Flight submission must exactly match the document presented at airport check-in.
Secure Flight currently requires that domestic aircraft operators collect passengers names as it appears on their government-issued I.D. as well as their date of birth and gender. For international flights, the same information will be collected beginning October 31, 2009.
For additional information regarding the TSA Secure Flight program, visit the DHS website at http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/secure-flight-program