Airline travelers boarding flights now—as of Aug. 15—face an added layer of security based on new federal guidelines.
In May, the federal Transportation Security Administration TSA required airlines and travel agents to provide passengers’ full names and itineraries for domestic flights. The second and final phase of “Secure Flight Final Rule” mandates that all passengers on domestic and international flights provide their full name, date of birth and gender.
Secure Flight matches the vital information of airline passengers against federal-government watch lists.
Travel agencies have been gearing up for the new requirements. For example, Travel Leaders, an agency that caters to vacation and business travelers, has been preparing by collecting personal information from its clients, says Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. He says the agency is stressing to its clients that the information must be provided during the reservation process and that it is being used as a way to provide additional safety and to avoid airport-security delays.
The TSA says Secure Flight has five key components: identifying known and suspected terrorists; preventing individuals on the “No Fly List” from boarding an aircraft; identifying individuals on the “Selectee List” for enhanced screening; facilitating passenger air travel; and protecting individuals’ privacy.
Along with providing the pertinent information, travelers must also ensure that the full name on their reservations appears exactly as it does on the form of identification they plan to use while traveling. Block says travelers don’t have to change all forms of government identification; they just need to make sure that the credentials they are traveling with match their airline tickets.
For more information about Secure Flight, readers may contact Travel Leaders at 1-888-206-TRIP or www.travelleaders.com or the TSA at www.tsa.gov.