Air reservations get personal

Get ready to share more details on your life before you take to the sky.

By MSN Money Aug 18, 2009 5:40PM

If you make a flight reservation from now on, you may be asked for your date of birth, and to state whether you're male or female.

 

The government is asking for the new information, hoping to make it harder for terrorists to use boarding passes to get on airplanes, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move is part of a program called Secure Flight, and stems from safety recommendations that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The goal, according to the Journal, is to "vet all passengers on domestic commercial flights by early next year." So how exactly would the information be used?

 

The government has a list of potential terrorist suspects that has grown to 1 million names. The Transportation Security Administration tries to match airport flyers with names on its own lists. 

 

The problem is that too many people are being snagged at airports simply because their names are similar to those on the list. USA Today reports that 51,000 people have filed claims in the last two years saying they were wrongly included on the list.

 

So now, the government says getting more personal information from travelers will help them better match names on the list.

 

Not all the airlines are participating in the collection yet, the Journal reports.

 

Related reading:

3 airlines that won't survive swine flu

All-pet airline takes off

Low-budget airline eyeing stand-up seats

United wants cheap deal on new planes

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