HOUSTON — Getting past sucurity to your gate for your flight with an American-based airline just got a little more challanging.
Starting August 15th, all new United States-based flight reservations must be booked under the exact name that appears on the form of the government identification that will be used when traveling, according to the US Transportation Security Administration. This is part of the security overhaul known as the Secure Flight Program, which was initiated in 2007.
In an email to clients, Frosch International Travel agent Jackie Boggs said, “‘Bob’ for ‘Robert’ will no longer be accepted. Typographical errors will not be adjusted nor accepted. Tickets would have to be voided and reissued under the correct name as it appears on the government issued I.D.”
The other major change is that your travel agent will need your date of birth on every ticket from this point on. Your birthdate will be verified with the TSA database to verify your identity.
FAQs from the TSA web site
Q. What is Secure Flight and what does it do?
A. Secure Flight is a behind the scenes program that streamlines the watch list matching process. It will improve the travel experience for all passengers, including those who have been misidentified in the past.
Q. What information will be collected by Secure Flight?
A. When fully implemented, Secure Flight will require all airlines to provide a passenger’s name as it appears on the government issued ID they plan to travel with, date of birth, gender, and redress number (if applicable).
Q. Why is Secure Flight collecting this information?
A. Based on the comments received during the rulemaking process and through extensive testing and analysis, TSA determined that mandating the provision of the additional data elements of date of birth and gender would greatly reduce the number of passengers misidentified as a match to the watch list. It is to the passenger’s advantage to provide the required data elements as doing so may prevent delays or inconveniences at the airport, particularly for those individuals who have similar names to those on the watch lists.
Q. What happens if my airline didn’t ask for any of that information?
A. Secure Flight will be phased-in and each airline will be incorporating the necessary changes into their systems over the coming months. Passengers shouldn’t be concerned if particular airlines don’t ask them to provide the additional information right away; it should not impact their travel. Each airline will request this information as their capability to capture it is integrated into their individual systems.
Q. If the name printed on my boarding pass is different than what appears on my government ID, will I still be able to fly?
A. Boarding passes may not always display the exact name you provided when booking your travel. The name you provide when booking your travel is used to perform the watch list matching before a boarding pass is ever issued, so small differences should not impact your travel. Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes process that TSA and airlines collaborate on to compare the information you provide against government watch lists. The additional data elements that you may be asked to provide, such as date of birth and gender, serve to better differentiate you from individuals on the government watch list.
You should ensure that the name provided when booking your travel matches the government ID that you will use when traveling. However, TSA has built some flexibility into the processes regarding passenger name accuracy. For 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, should not cause a problem for the passenger. Over time, passengers should strive to obtain consistency between the name on their ID and their travel information.
Q. How do I know if I am on the No Fly list?
A. If a passenger successfully obtains a boarding pass, his/her name is not on the No-Fly list. If a passenger feels they have been misidentified, redress is an opportunity to seek resolution and avoid future delays. The affected passengers often have the same or a similar name to someone on the watch list. Any passenger who believes he/she has been delayed or denied boarding; delayed or denied entry into the U.S. at a port of entry; or been subject to enhanced screening or inspection may seek redress through the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) at www.dhs.gov/trip. DHS TRIP provides a single portal for travelers to seek redress for adverse screening experiences and to resolve possible watch list misidentification issues.