Secure Flight. Just the mention of those two words is enough to confuse, frustrate or frighten the average air traveler. As in, “The Transportation Security Administration’s new Secure Flight program will require you to … (insert name of ridiculous new policy here).”

The question now isn’t what is Secure Flight. It’s, “what isn’t it?

Frank Perch got the following email from AirTran the other day, for example.

Recently, the Transportation Security Administration announced changes to their watch list matching process called Secure Flight. The mission of Secure Flight is to enhance the security of domestic and international air travel through the use of improved watch list matching. Another benefit will be greatly reduced incidents of passengers being misidentified with names on the TSA’s watch lists.

What does this mean for me?Starting today, when purchasing a ticket you will be required to provide your full first, middle and last name, exactly matching the valid government-issued ID you will present at the airport (e.g. driver’s license, passport, etc.).

Beginning August 15, 2009, you will also be required to provide your gender and date of birth when booking flights.

How will I benefit?You will benefit from the Secure Flight program through improved security on all flights and reduced rates in misidentification of passengers who have similar names on the TSA watch list.

He thought it was a scam.

Continue reading 'Is the TSA trying to scare me into providing personal informat

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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