Airline Says, Time to Get Ready for TSA Secure Flight Program

Airlines and Secure Flight

Maybe you got an email recently from American Airlines; it’s a reminder that the TSA Secure Flight program goes into full effect on Nov. 1. This security program has been phasing in over the last several months, slowly but surely – and now it’s getting to the deadline for full compliance. Be sure you’re ready.

Take the Poll, Below

I have no doubt that most of you are already familiar with Secure Flight. It’s a simple concept to avoid mistaken identity, in which airlines collect basic information from each passenger, including the following:

Passenger Data Required for Secure Flight

NOTE: You may have already submitted this information to your favorite carriers – but check to be sure, and to be sure it’s accurate.

  • Your Name – as it appears the government-issued I.D. you use when traveling
  • Your Date of Birth (do not be tempted to fib)
  • Your Gender
  • Your Redress Number – if you have one (because you were put on a “watch list” in error)

Keeping Innocent Passengers Off the Watch List

Last week, I interviewed TSA regional spokesman Nico Melendez in Los Angeles, and he told me that Secure Flight is a great tool to keep “the bad guys off of the airplanes” and the latest refinements make it easy for innocent passengers not to get confused with the bad guys:

“[It} allows us to filter out misidentification of a huge percentage of people that had been misidentified up to this point. It’s something that just is going to make travel easier for passengers.” – Nico Melendez, TSA – interview with Rick Seaney 9-16-20

Well, we can only hope so. You can learn more about this on the TSA website. Meantime this information is being collected by the airlines, and if you’ve flown lately, you are aware of this.

Now, American Airlines is reminding you that starting Nov. 1, you must have your Secure Flight Passenger Data in the airline’s reservation system at least 72 hours prior to departure. You will be unable to travel without providing this information.

Update Your Airline Profile Now

Why wait? Go to American – or any and all of your airlines – and update your profile now (just log-in to your carrier’s website – most will be happy to take this information down).

And please, pay special attention to your name as it appears on your ID. If your driver’s license includes a middle name (or middle initial), include that in your profile.

You don’t want to end up on a TSA watch list, believe me.

Photo from nedrichards on Flickr

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Published: September 20, 2010