Secure Flights and “Ticketing Inhibition”
The Secure Flight Programme, set up by the United States Transportation Security
Administration (TSA), aims to increase the security on international flights and flights
within the United States. The United States authorities achieve this by optimising
comparisons with the so-called watch lists, for example, to prevent persons who are
on no-fly lists from making their way on board an aircraft.
It is imperative that the following Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) be
provided in the passenger name record with the flight booking for flights
entering or departing the United States
- Complete name (as it appears on an official passport)
- Date of birth
- Redress Number * (if available)
* Persons who have been incorrectly flagged can request a redress number at www.dhs.gov/trip to avoid
false identifications in future.
secure flight procedures apply for all domestic and
international passengers travelling on:
- flights arriving or departing from the united states or
united states territories
- flights of carriers based in the united states
the minimum required information must be entered in the pnr at
least 72 hours before flight departure. if the reservation is
made less than 72 hours before departure, the information must
be entered at the time of booking.
TSA Secure Flight Program
Secure Flight Final Rule is a program developed to provide uniform watch list matching by the U.S.
American Government Agency, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The mission of the
Secure Flight program is to enhance the security of international and domestic commercial air travel
through the use of improved watch list matching e.g. to prevent individuals from the No Fly list from
boarding an Aircraft. Each Airlines has an individual implementation date, therefore it may happen that
Airlines communicate different Dates. As a general rule, TSA does not accept any bookings without
Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) as of 01.11.2010 for all Airlines.
How does Secure Flight affect Air travelers?
To comply with the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight policy, the following information must be provided and must match the government-issued photo identification that will be used for travel:
Full name (as it appears on passenger's government-issued ID)
Date of birth
Redress Number (if available)*
*Those who encounter misidentification are invited to apply for redress at www.dhs.gov/trip to
help prevent watch list matching misidentifications in the future.
TSA requires all Airlines which operate a flight to/from the USA to send this data 72 hours for ticketed
bookings before the scheduled flight. TSA will match it against the No Fly and Selectee watch lists. TSA
will transmit the result of the matching process to the operating Airline at time of check-in, and if thematch is negative (passenger is not on the watch lists) the boarding pass can be printed the passenger may start his journey and is allowed to travel to the USA. (Other existing entry requirements have to be observed as well)
In case of a positive match, Secure Flight will serve to prevent individuals on the No Fly List fromboarding an aircraft, as well as to subject individuals on the Selectee List to enhanced screening (e.g. viaTSA Call Center) or determine if they are permitted to board an aircraft, that is to start the bookedjourney.
What are the benefits of Secure Flight?
Secure Flight provides numerous benefits to the traveling public. First, Secure Flight protects sensitivewatch list data. The program also enables officials to address security threats sooner, keeping air travelsafer. By implementing one watch list matching system, the program provides a fair and consistentmatching process across all airlines and reduces the chance of being misidentified. Secure Flight offersan improved redress process, so that those who are mistakenly matched to the watch list can avoidfurther problems in the future.
For more information on the redress process, visit www.dhs.gov/trip.
Does the name on the ticket/boarding pass need to match the name on the passengers ID?
Due to system restrictions it may happen that the name on the ticket/boarding pass does not fully matchthe name on the passenger’s ID. But the name provided for Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) isused to perform the watch list matching and needs to match the name on the passengers ID. Smalldifferences between the name on the ticket and the name provided for SFPD should not have anyserious impact. Nevertheless a close as possible match may help to avoid potential mis-interpretations.
In which format are Secure Flight Passenger Data entered into the booking (PNR – passenger name record)
The entry format follows the APIS format – it is done via “special service request – SSR elements”. It isrecommended to enter the carrier code “YY” as in that case the Data is transmitted automatically to allbooked carriers.
Examples for entry formats:
Amadeus Secure Flight passenger data (SFPD):
SRDOCS YY HK1-----30JUN73-M--JOHN-SMITH/P1 (male adult)
SRDOCS YY HK1-----30JUN77-F--KERR-PETRA/P2 (female adult)
SRDOCS YY HK1-----12JAN10-FI--WILLIAM-PETER/P2 (Infant)
Additional information: SFPD (DOB, Gender, full name) data elements will be set as mandatory fields inSSR DOCS, in case information is missing, following error message is displayed: INVALID FORMAT - NOT ENTERED.Corrections of the SSR Elements are done via cancellation and re-entry.
Redress number information (not mandatory - only inserted if passenger advises they have a redress
SRDOCO YY HK1--R-123456789---US/P1
SRDOCO YY HK1--R-45675567---US-I/P1/S3 (Infant)
Galileo: (SSR created for segment 1, SFPD)
Sabre: (SSR created for segment 1, SFPD)
3SSRDOCSYYHK1/////12JUL66/M// MAIER/JOHN/PAUL -1.1
APIS and Secure Flight
In case the booking contains full APIS information (Address, Travel ID, Name, Gender, Passport etc,) anadditional element for secure flight is not required.
But contrary to APIS Data, which can be added even at time of check-in, TSA mandates for secure flightthat the data have to be transmitted via the booking 72 hours prior to departure. Data collection at time ofcheck-in is not in line with the goal of the secure flight program, which is to have an early matchingagainst the watch-lists to increase the security of international and domestic commercial air travel.
What happens if Secure Flight Passenger data are incomplete by error wrong?
In case data is incomplete and/or wrong, they can either be added/changed via the above mentionedSSR Elements.
APIS data for entry to the USA”. The data will be transmitted to allcarriers participating in the itinerary, and reflected in the booking as SSR DOCS Element.
In case of wrong and/or incomplete SFPD, passengers run the risk that matching with the watch lists maygive a wrong result. The passenger can get by error the status “selectee” or even “no fly”, which mayresult in additional security screening at the airport or that the passenger may be denied boarding on therespective flight.
When should the SFPD be collected?
It is recommended to collect the data directly at time of reservation and to enter it into the booking. Latest72 hours before departure Data is mandatory in ticketed bookings, as at that time Airlines have totransmit the data to TSA.
Are short term bookings (less than 72hs before departure) still allowed?
Yes, but in these cases TSA requires to collect SFPD at time of booking.
As data is to be sent to TSA 72 hours before departure, will there be problems for bookingchanges or new bookings which are done in less than 72hours?
No, TSA mandated that all data captured in the bookings are to be sent to the TSA 72 hours prior toscheduled flight departure. For reservation data that is added or changed within 72 hours, data isupdated and sent immediately. Therefore in these cases it is mandatory to enter the SFPD directly attime of booking.
Are Travelers allowed not to provide SFPD to Airlines / Travel Agents?
You are responsible for obtaining all required travel documents and visas and for complying with all laws,regulations, orders, demands and travel requirements of countries to be flown from, into or through whichyou transit.”