TSA Can Now Screw This Process Up Without Airline
The TSA thinks this is progress...
but those of us who know the TSA all too well, REALLY wonder. The
TSA's Secure Flight passenger vetting program will begin asking
passengers to enter their full name, as of May 15th, as it appears
on the government issued identification they will be traveling with
-- when making airline reservations.
This is the first 'publicly-noticeable' step (the second will be
the inevitable screw-up... but we digress -- ANN E-I-C) in
implementing the multi-phase Secure Flight program which shifts
pre-departure watch list matching responsibilities from individual
aircraft operators to TSA. The Secure Flight program satisfies a
key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, and congressional
requirements from the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention
Act of 2004 and the 9/11 Commission Act signed into law in
"By enhancing and streamlining the watch list matching process,
the Secure Flight program makes travel safer and easier for
millions of Americans," said TSA Acting Administrator Gale
Rossides. "During this phase of the Secure Flight program,
passengers are encouraged to book their reservations using their
name as it appears on the government-issued ID they will use while
In the near future, small differences between the passenger's ID
and the passenger's reservation information, such as the use of a
middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle
name/initial at all, will not be an issue for passengers. Over
time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the
name on their government issued ID and the travel information they
use for booking flights.
The second phase of Secure Flight
begins August 15, 2009 when passengers will be required to
surrender much more info, starting (for now) with their date of
birth, gender and redress number (if available) when booking
Once Secure Flight's advanced technology is fully implemented in
early 2010, enhanced watch list matching will be done by the
government (which has a pretty shoddy track record in this regard).
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. By providing
the additional data elements of gender and date of birth, Secure
Flight will more effectively help prevent 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 to aviation.
TSA's goal is to vet 100 percent of passengers on all domestic
commercial flights by early 2010 and 100 percent of passengers on
all international commercial flights by the end of 2010. Anyone
want to take bets to see how well they manage this program?