The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced last week that beginning May 15, all passengers will be asked to enter their full name – as it appears on the government issued identification they will be traveling with – when making airline reservations. For instance, if a person’s first, middle and last name are on their driver’s license and their driver’s license is what they will be traveling with, their first, middle and last name must be used when purchasing their airline ticket. TSA officers at airports across the country will check to make sure they match when passengers pass through security.
The requirement is the first phase of TSA’s Secure Flight passenger vetting program which shifts pre-departure watch list matching responsibilities from individual aircraft operators to TSA.
The second phase of Secure Flight begins August 15, 2009, when passengers will be required to enter their date of birth and gender when booking airline flights. TSA said the additional data will help prevent the misidentification of passengers who have similar names to individuals on the watch list, and better identify individuals that may pose a known or suspected threat.
Once Secure Flight’s advanced technology is fully implemented in early 2010, enhanced watch list matching will be done by the government. Airlines will gather a passenger’s full name, date of birth and gender when making an airline reservation to determine if the passenger is a match to the "No Fly" or "Selectee" lists.
For more information about the Secure Flight passenger vetting program, visit http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm.