This fall, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration will complete implementation of the Secure Flight Program, which aims to enhance the security of domestic and international commercial air travel using improved watch list matching.
Effective Nov.1, all passengers will be required to have Secure Flight Passenger Data in their reservation at least 72 hours prior to departure. Passengers will be unable to travel without providing this information.
SFPD includes the traveler’s full name, date of birth, gender, and redress number, if applicable. The traveler’s name on the boarding pass must match the name on the government-issued identification (i.e. driver’s license, passport, or military identification). For example, if the identification used contains a full middle name, then the SFPD must reflect the full middle name.
To comply with this change, the Commercial Travel Office in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart is requiring travelers who contact the commercial travel office directly to make reservations to provide SFPD at the time the reservation is requested, effective Oct. 1.
Passengers who do not provide full information will not be able to make a reservation, according to USAG Stuttgart Transportation Officer Jerry Reed.
“They’re going to be asked for their information for commercial travel and official travel,” he added.
Reed reiterated that the passenger’s name on the reservation must match the name on their passport or government-issued ID exactly. “If it doesn’t match, you’re not getting on the plane,” he said.
In addition, travelers who book a reservation within 72 hours of the flight may experience delays in receiving a boarding pass, or may have to wait in line at the airport for their boarding pass.
Whether booking within or outside of 72 hours in advance, customers should immediately supply their correct information to limit delays, said Jeffrey Romero, USAG Stuttgart chief of logistic plans and operations.
The Defense Travel System was modified to capture and transmit the required SFPD in September 2009. Travelers making reservations in DTS must verify the SFPD is accurate and complete. Do not include rank, titles, suffixes (i.e. “CPT,” “CMSgt,” “Mr.,” “Dr.,” “Ms.,” “Jr.,” or “III”) or special characters in the SFPD. This information will be saved to individual travelers’ DTS TSA profile. The system will continue to prompt travelers to verify or update this information each time they attempt to make any travel reservations
About the Secure Flight Program
The goal of the Secure Flight program is to identify known and suspected terrorists and prevent them from boarding aircrafts or gaining access to secure areas of U.S. airports.
Under the program, TSA requires airlines to provide a traveler’s SFPD via a secure web portal 72 hours before a flight’s departure. Airlines are not allowed to issue a boarding pass until the SFPD is transmitted and an authorization to print a boarding pass is received from TSA. If cleared, travelers are able to print boarding passes up to 24 hours before departure. If a traveler does not pass the review, TSA may provide instructions to the airline to conduct enhanced screening at the airport or to deny flight access.
For additional information about TSA’s Secure Flight Program, visit www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/index.shtm.
Editor’s Note: Brittany Carlson, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office, contributed to this story.