Saturday, June 20, 2009

TSA Going to More Stringent Name Requirements


As part of the Secure Flight program, travelers are now required to provide the name to the airlines that they will use while traveling. Before Secure Flight, airlines themselves were responsible for matching passenger information to the federal watch list. As Secure Flight is implemented, TSA will begin to assume responsibility for the security program. What this means is that when you purchase an airline ticket your name will be compared to the “No Fly” and “Selectee” lists, which are distilled from the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

Also when you present an ID at screening it needs to match the name on the ticket. There has been a lot of discussion on different websites as to what will constitute and not constitute a match. The general consensus is that the first and last names should be the same on both the IDs and the ticket, e.g James Doe on both, not Jim Doe and James Doe. Middle names shouldn’t matter according to TSA. I would not advise taking any chances with grumpy TSA screeners and make sure the ticket and ID match exactly.

The next part of Secure ID comes in August when domestic airlines will be required to collect (and passengers will be required to provide) date of birth and gender in addition to name. The idea behind this is to eliminate the six year olds from being identified as being on the terrorist watch lists.

The Transportation Security Blog has a good discussion of this.

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