FAQ

Secure Flight

What is Secure Flight and what does it do?

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.

What information will be collected by Secure Flight?

UnderSecure Flight, TSA requires airlines to collect and transmit to TSA the following Secure Flight Passenger Data:

  • Name as it appears on passport when travelling
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Redress Number (if available)

Why is Secure Flight collecting this information?

TSA determined that mandating the provision of the additional data elements of date of birth and gender would greatly reduce the number of passengers misidentified as a match to the watch list. It is to the passenger's advantage to provide the required data elements as doing so may prevent delays or inconveniences at the airport, particularly for those individuals who have similar names to those on the watch lists.

When did Secure Flight requirements go into effect?

Secure Flight required that all airlines request and collect Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) as of October 31, 2009. Secure Flight is being phased in with each airline. Implementation with all domestic airlines is scheduled to be completed by early 2010 and international carriers by the end of 2010.

What is the objective of Secure Flight?

The goals of the program are to:

  • Facilitate passenger air travel
  • Protect individuals' privacy
  • Prevent individuals on these lists from boarding aircraft
  • Identify individuals for possible enhanced screening

What are the benefits provided by Secure Flight?

By assuming watch list matching responsibilities from the airlines, TSA:

  • Reduces instances of misidentified individuals
  • Decreases the chance for compromised watch list data by limiting its distribution
  • Provides earlier identification of potential matches, allowing for expedited notification of law enforcement and threat management
  • Provides a fair, equitable, and consistent matching process across all airlines Offers consistent application of an integrated redress process for misidentified individuals via the Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program

How will my travel experience be different now that Secure Flight is up and running?

The biggest change for most passengers will be providing additional information when booking a reservation for air travel. Under Secure Flight, airlines require that passengers provide their full name, date of birth, and gender when making a reservation to travel and will request a passenger's Redress Number and passport information if available. Otherwise, the passenger experience under Secure Flight will be the same for most travelers.

If the name printed on my boarding pass is different than what appears on my passport, will I still be able to fly?

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 lists.
Due to differences in boarding pass systems, 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 between the passenger's ID and the passenger name printed on the boarding pass, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, or hyphens and apostrophes should not cause a problem for the passenger.

What is Redress?

Redress is an opportunity for passengers who believe they have been improperly or unfairly delayed or prohibited from boarding an aircraft to seek resolution and avoid future delays. The affected passengers often have the same or a similar name to someone on the watch list. The DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) provides a one-stop shop for passengers seeking redress. Secure Flight uses the results of the redress process in its watch list matching process to help prevent future delays for misidentified passengers. For more information on the redress process, visit http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/dhs-traveler-redress-inquiry-program-dhs-trip.

How does Secure Flight use the Redress Number?

Secure Flight uses the results of the redress process in its watch list matching process, thus helping to prevent future misidentifications for passengers who may have a name that's similar to an individual name on the watch list.

How do I use the Redress Number?

After receiving the Redress Number, passengers should provide the number to their travel arranger or airline representative when making airline reservations. By doing so, passengers can avoid inconveniences or delays that may result from mistaken identity. If passengers are not asked for the Redress Number by their travel arranger or airline representative, they should volunteer the number to the agent taking the reservation or provide the Redress Number when checking in for their flight.

Once I have a Redress Number, will my travel experience be better?

After submitting your application for redress, you will receive your Redress Number immediately. This number is used to track your application, but will also serve as the number to be provided when travelling in the future. Please bear in mind that even though you have been assigned a Redress Number, your application must still be processed. Once your application is processed and finalized, you will be notified with a letter.
Please note that DHS and airlines can neither confirm nor deny whether an individual is on a Federal watch list because this information is derived from classified and sensitive law enforcement and intelligence information. In addition, DHS cannot ensure that your travel will always be delay-free. Airline check-in procedures must still be followed and other security measures remain in place at the airport.

Where can I apply?

To apply for redress through DHS Transportation Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP), visit www.dhs.gov/trip.

Who do I contact if I need my Redress Number?

To check the status of your inquiry, go to https://trip.dhs.gov/status.aspx and enter your Redress Number. If you have lost or misplaced your Redress Number, contact DHS TRIP by e-mail at trip@dhs.gov.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about redress?

For more information on the redress process and how to apply, visit www.dhs.gov/trip or email trip@dhs.gov.

How do I know that the information Secure Flight collects about me will be safeguarded?

TSA takes the security of personal information very seriously. The personal data that Secure Flight proposes to collect is protected by the highest set of security protocol standards established by the federal government.
TSA takes a number of steps to guard the safety and privacy of personal information it collects about individuals. TSA's Office of Privacy Policy and Compliance collaborates with the Chief Information Security Office (CISO) to work with program offices during the design and implementation of systems to ensure compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the Privacy Act.
For detailed information regarding your privacy, click here.

How does Secure Flight protect the privacy of individuals?

Secure Flight guards the privacy of individuals by adhering to the letter and spirit of privacy law, by treating individuals and their personal privacy information with respect, ensuring a high standard of privacy protection, and responding effectively to public concerns.
For further information, please go to http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/secure-flight-program.

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