Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Secure Flight Program

A program began last week which subjects travelers to "behind-the-scenes" passenger watch list matching as an additional safety precaution.

It is the end of a year-long grace period for the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Secure Flight Program.

The biggest change affecting passengers is that it requires airlines to submit to TSA each passengers full name (as it appears on government ID), date of birth, gender and Redress Number (if applicable) at least 72 hours before the trip.

If the information is not submitted three days in advance, a boarding pass will not and cannot be issued. If a traveler has an existing reservation for immediate travel it's strongly advised the traveler contact the airline or booking source prior to going to the airport. Many sources allow you to add the information online, others require you to visit a ticket counter or call the reservations number.

The Program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have similar names to individuals on the watch lists and better identifies individuals who may pose a threat to aviation. If all reservation identification is listed correctly, TSA estimates that more than 99% of passengers will be cleared to print their boarding passes at home.

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