TSA Secure Flight Info
Beginning November 1, 2010, all ticketed reservations must be compliant or the airlines are at risk of government enforcement action. This includes reservations ticketed on or after the implementation dates listed above for travel on or after November 1, 2010.
In response to TSA’s threat, some airlines have in turn issued enforcement notices to travel agents. For example, US Airways has indicated that the only way it can be certain to avoid enforcement action is to cancel non-compliant reservations from their system and Continental has notified agents of its intent to issue debit memos for non-compliant reservations. In addition, American Airlines has announced that, effective September 15, 2010, it is inhibiting ticketing for all non-compliant reservations.
Beginning in mid-2009, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires you to provide your:
- full name,
- date of birth and
as it is shown on the identification document that you plan to present at airport security check-points. This information is not optional and should be presented at the time of booking. The purpose of collecting this information is to allow TSA to perform terrorist watch list matching that is currently being done by each airline. Failure to provide the required elements in advance could inhibit your ability to get a boarding pass either at home or at the airport until the information has been provided.
If you have a name similar to, or the same as, a name on the current terrorist watch list, and have experienced secondary screening at airports, you will have the option of providing your Redress Number at the time of booking to prevent secondary security screening. A Redress Number is a unique number that helps TSA eliminate watch list misidentification. If you encounter watch list misidentifications, you can go to DHSTrip.gov to apply for a Redress Number.
Top Secure Flight Questions
Q. What is Secure Flight and what does it do?
A. Secure Flight is a behind the scenes program that streamlines the watch list matching process. It will improve the travel experience for all passengers, including those who have been misidentified in the past.
Q. What information will be collected by Secure Flight?
A. When fully implemented, Secure Flight will require all airlines to provide a passenger's name as it appears on the government issued ID they plan to travel with, date of birth, gender, and redress number (if available).
Q. If the name printed on my boarding pass is different than what appears on my government ID, will I still be able to fly?
A. Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes process that TSA and airlines collaborate on to compare the information you provide against government watch lists. The additional data elements that you may be asked to provide, such as date of birth and gender, serve to better differentiate you from individuals on the government watch list.
Due to difference in boarding pass systems, boarding passes may not always display the exact name you provided when booking your travel. The name you provide when booking your travel is used to perform the watch list matching before a boarding pass is ever issued, so small differences should not impact your travel. You should ensure that the name provided when booking your travel matches the government ID that you will use when traveling. Small differences between the passenger's ID the passenger's reservation information, and the boarding pass (such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, hyphens or apostrophes) should not cause a problem for the passenger.
- Contact your travel agent to update your profile with your full name, date of birth and gender. Also provide your Redress Number if you have one.
- While not all reservation systems have been programmed yet to accept all Secure Flight data elements such as date of birth, gender and Redress Number, you should begin making reservations using your full name and, when applicable, provide your date of birth and gender. All data elements should match exactly the ID you plan to present at the airport. For example, if your state-issued drivers license lists your name as Anthony Q Public, then your reservation must be booked as Anthony Q Public, not Tony Q Public or A. Quinn Public. If your full middle name is on the ID, you must include your full middle name in the reservation.
- Verify your name on your frequent traveler profiles. If you signed up for frequent traveler programs using a nick name or a name other than your name as shown on your identification, you should contact each frequent traveler program to update your name to match Secure Flight’s full name requirement. For example, frequent traveler program participant Tony Q Public should update his frequent flyer profiles to Anthony Q Public so that he does not jeopardize receiving credit when traveling under his full name as required by Secure Flight.
- If you use your state-issued ID card for some trips and your passport for other trips, check to see if the names match exactly, as passports often include full middle names and a state issued ID cards may only include a middle initial. If the names do not match exactly, for each trip you must remember to use the name format of the identifying document that you plan to use.
- Be sure to bring your valid government-issued documentation when flying.