In the latest federal security mandate, travelers are being required to provide their full names, gender and birth date when booking airline tickets with carriers or travel agents, industry and federal officials say.
The data-matching program being implemented by the Transportation Security Administration is aimed at reducing the "false-positive" or misidentified matches between travelers and suspected terrorists.
A match of names with those on the Terrorist Watch List could cause TSA officers to require secondary screening of passengers or prohibit passengers from boarding aircraft, officials said.
The passenger should provide their full name as appears on their government-issued identification along with their birth date and gender. All airlines will be collecting Secure Flight information by early 2010.
The information will be collected during the booking process by airlines and travel agents and relayed to TSA, which will verify names against those on the Terrorist Watch List. The information will be sent to TSA well before you travel, so when you get to the airport there will be nothing different.
Southwest Airlines has started to implement the new requirements, as are Delta and AirTran Airways.
People who use nicknames might have to make an adjustment. TSA officials say the new requirements will be implemented by every airline over the coming months.