ASTA Works with TSA on Secure Flight Compliance

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it is continuing to work closely with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the implementation of Secure Flight in a way that will reduce the adverse impact on agents and consumers. ASTA and the TSA also urged agents to be alert to the changes that will impact clients.

“ASTA has and will continue to work closely with the TSA to notify members through member alerts and updates, of upcoming changes and deadlines that impact the travel agency community and the traveling public,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. “We have, throughout the implementation period, met with TSA and provided updates and direction to our members regarding compliance. ASTA has actively supported the concept and implementation of Secure Flight from its inception and will continue to do so to assure to the maximum extent possible that all member bookings are fully compliant.”

Secure Flight’s Final Rules require that every covered aircraft operator collect each passenger’s full name, date of birth, gender and redress number (if available, collectively referred to as SFPD) when a reservation on a covered flight is made within 72 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure.

If a reservation is made within 72 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure, the SFPD must be collected at the time of booking. Each aircraft operator will have to ensure that each third party that accepts a reservation on its behalf complies with these requirements. After November 1, , Secure Flight will no longer accept passenger records that do not contain the full SFPD.

In a recent letter to ASTA, John Sammon, TSA’s assistant administrator for transportation sector network management, wrote: “[A]fter November 1, 2010, passenger reservations without full SFPD will be rejected by Secure Flight and will not be processed. This policy will apply to all passenger records regardless of source, aircraft operator or air carrier. … [T]ime is growing short. When you consider the effect of advance bookings, the full SFPD transmission would really be necessary no later than this summer to minimize impact on customers. … We look forward to working with you and your membership to ensure compliance with this issue.”