TSA Requiring More Personal Data
Travel agencies and airlines must now ask for more personal information when booking flights because of government rules requiring the following data for each passenger:
- Full name as it appears on a government-issued I.D.
- Date of birth
The mandate for this information — referred to as Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) — is from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Full SFPD must be submitted by the airlines to the TSA 72 hours in advance of flight departures for all travel on or after November 1, 2010. But most airlines are already asking for the additional information now, and beginning September 15, many carriers will not issue tickets or may cancel reservations without the data.
Impact on Travel Safety
Under the Secure Flight program, the TSA is prescreening data against government watch lists for domestic and international flights. The program's goals are to:
- Identify known and suspected terrorists.
- Prevent individuals on the No Fly List from boarding an aircraft.
- Make air travel safer.
In addition to facilitating secure travel for all passengers, the program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watch lists. Passengers have the option of supplying a Redress Number when booking a flight. A Redress Number is issued by the TSA to certain passengers with names that have triggered a false-positive match with those on watch lists.
The TSA allows no exceptions for the mandated SFPD: 100 percent compliance is required, or the airlines could face a fine of up to $27,500 per passenger, per segment.
The TSA states that the data collected is "protected by the highest set of security protocol standards established by the federal government."
TSA will retain records for most individuals encountered by Secure Flight for a short period of time. The vast majority of records are expected to be destroyed within seven days of completion of directional travel. Directional travel means that each leg of a round-trip itinerary will be assessed separately.
If the automated matching tool determines that an individual is a potential match to an individual on the watch list, TSA will retain the information concerning that potential match for seven years. If the potential match is confirmed, TSA will retain that confirmed match for 99 years.
Travelers do not yet have the option of permanently storing their Secure Flight information in their Connexxus profile and will need to add the data each time a reservation is made.
The system for booking travel through the UC Travel Center is PCI compliant: It meets a set of comprehensive requirements for enhancing payment account data security developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.