New security procedures are being rolled out at airports and airlines across the country. Beginning this weekend, passengers will be asked for their full name, birth date and gender when they book a ticket. That information will then be matched with the government-issued identification presented at the airport on the day of the flight.
This is the second phase of the Transportation Security Administration program called Secure Flight. Born out of recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, the new phase of the program makes the government — not the airlines — responsible for knowing just who is on domestic flights.
According to the TSA, collecting birth dates and gender information will make it easier to check passenger names against government watch lists. “It helps to better identify the known or suspected terrorists,” says Paul Leyh, director of Secure Flight. “At the same time it helps to clear those who aren’t terrorists, but have similar names.”