New TSA Security Measures Start Nov. 1 – What You Must Do

Do Airlines have Your Correct Info?

Starting next month, on Nov. 1, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) begins full implementation of its new “Secure Flight” program, and you’ve got to be ready.

You probably know by know that it requires three pieces of information from you:

  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Name as it appears on your government ID

What you may not know: it’s up to the airlines to collect this information, and some want to have it from you before Nov. 1.

Airline Deadlines for Secure Flight Info

Here are  just a few examples:

  • American – the airline requires your “secure flight” info be in their reservation systems 72 hours before departure for all travel starting Nov. 1 and for any tickets purchased after Sept. 15
  • Delta – according to its website, “If you do not provide this information prior to 72 hours before your scheduled departure, your flight reservation may be cancelled.”
  • United – similar message on its site: “TSA requires that all reservations contain Secure Flight information a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel or at the time of ticketing, whichever comes first.”

Check Your Airline Emails

In recent weeks, a lot of airlines have been sending passengers email reminders about Secure Flight with links you can click to be sure your up-to-date information is in the reservation system; you might want to go back and check for these messages.

Remember the Passport Chaos?

For those of you who are thinking, “no big deal” – just remember that airlines sell tickets up to 11 months before departure and a significant number of people (though not huge) purchase tickets early enough so they may not be aware of this requirement for personal information.

What this means is we could be seeing a bit of chaos at the airports, not unlike what happened when passport requirements changed and suddenly, travelers learned that a good old USA driver’s license was no longer enough to get in and out of Mexico or Canada.

It pays to be pro-active: check with all your favorite airlines and see if your information is in the system.

The point of it all? To keep terrorists off planes. Let’s help – and not risk missing any flights, okay?


Published: October 11, 2010