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TravelHaven Tips ― Secure Flight rules take effect

As of Nov. 1, the new Transportation Security Administration Secure Flight rules go into effect. Passengers who don’t provide their full name, date of birth, and gender within 72 hours prior to departure may be being denied boarding by the TSA. The rules apply to all passengers flying on U.S. airlines; into or out of U.S. airports; and over U.S. airspace.

The airline industry trade organization Air Transport Association supports the rules. The International Air Transport Association, however, is critical of Secure Flight, citing inefficiencies in the process. It feels that the Department of Homeland Security is asking too much information on passengers too often.

Although the new rule imposes demands on the travel industry, travel agencies – online and brick-and-mortar – and computer reservations systems are on board. Expedia, Orbitz, and other major travel sites provide online updates. The National Business Travel Association also provides resources to support the program.

Some airlines had already adopted these new provisions. Since mid-September, American Airlines has required all passengers to comply and provide the data for all tickets purchased. American also requires a “redress number” for passengers who have been assigned a TSA-issued code for those whose names have erroneously appeared on the watch list. United Airlines also had been requiring passenger compliance.

So when you book air travel you need to be certain of all personal information you provide for you and for others you are booking for. your traveling companions. In particular, make sure that names and dates provided match other I.D. – especially passports – and that changing information related to marriages, divorces, adoptions, and any other relevant circumstances. Typing in a wrong letter or number could mean denied boarding and a ruined trip.

You may need to build extra travel time into your plans for the holiday season. The rules and processes will still be new and may cause check-in and boarding delays.

On the TSA site the agency has a guide to Secure Flight with a complete set of Frequently Asked Questions about the program.