The U.S Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has initiated a new program to require the airlines to provide additional information for passengers regarding more detailed identification. The program is called Secure Flight and when fully implemented will require airlines to provide information such as passenger gender , birth date and full name. For now, travelers may not see much of a difference because the program is being rolled out in steps. The TSA is seeking this information so it can expedite security screening and clear passengers for flights.
Airline software programs need to be revised to accept the new information that wasn’t previously required. The TSA is giving the airline industry time to implement programs to hold and transmit the information. The goal is to have airlines ready to provide this additional data to the TSA by late summer on domestic flights and by fall for international flights. The timeline is flexible at this time and full implementation may not be realized until 2010.
What does this mean for travelers? The best proactive step travelers can do is check the forms of identification they use for travel and be sure that their legal name reads the same on drivers license and passport. Also be sure that membership numbers for airline , car and hotel frequent flyer programs also read with the same name information so travel credit can continue to be automatically credited to accounts.