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Top 5 Secure Flight Questions  

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. Are all airlines participating in the Secure Flight program at this time?

A. No. 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. What if my name and I.D. do not exactly match when I arrive at security? Will I be turned away and unable to fly?

A. No. Secure Flight will not impact the process at the security checkpoint in any way. At the security checkpoint, TSA strives to ensure you are who you say you are. TSA performs travel document checking to see that you, your identification, and your boarding pass match and are valid. TSA performs this function because identity matters and it is critical to security to ensure that individuals with hostile intent do not board aircraft. 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. Secure Flight will not impact the security checkpoint experience. While Secure Flight and travel document checking are both critical security functions, they serve different purposes at different points in the security process.

Q. Does the name on all of my IDs have to match? What if my driver’s license has only my middle initial, but my passport has my full name? Should I change my driver’s license to match my passport?

A. Secure Flight does not require that the names on all of your IDs be identical. Passengers should provide their name as it appears on their government-issued ID they plan to use when traveling. This provides TSA the best information possible to use when performing watch list matching. This will result in a better process for travelers and greatly reduces the number of misidentifications. By adding date of birth and gender, the number of misidentifications is reduced further and can more readily identify passengers who do not pose a threat.

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