The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States is currently implementing Secure Flight Program. This is an enhanced security check for passengers wishing to fly to/from/within the United States, which will help aviation security and help make travel easier for passengers.

Each airline has been given implementation dates by the TSA, by November 2010 airlines are expected to have 100% of passengers complying with Secure Flight.

The only real difference for UK travellers is that middle names are now required when API didn't need it..
However it is likely that not all airlines will complay with this date, so don't be concerned for existing bookings that you haven't provided it. It is likely that for new bookings that you will be asked for any middle names.

When travelling to/from the United States, customers will now be required to provide the following minimum Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) to when making a reservation:

- Name as it appears on Passport or Verifying Identity Document (VID)
- Date of Birth
- Gender
- Redress Number (where applicable)

APIS continues to be a requirement and covers the SFPD needs as long as it is completed outside of 72 hours before departure. If the data is not provided the passenger will be refused for the flight by the US TSA

A visa or approved ESTA is still required for passengers wishing to travel to the US.

Bookings that are made within 72 hours of departure must include minimum SFPD, which is entered by using the standard APIS.

How it works

Under the Secure Flight program, passengers making a reservation are required to provide their full name (as it appears on the government-issued identification they plan to use when traveling), date of birth, and gender.
TSA matches this information against government watch lists to:
  • Identify individuals on the No Fly List and prevent them from boarding an aircraft
  • Identify individuals on the Selectee List for enhanced screening
  • Prevents future misidentifications through the integration of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Redress process
  • Facilitate passenger air travel
  • Protect individuals' privacy
After matching passenger information against government watch lists, Secure Flight transmits the matching results back to airlines so they can issue passenger boarding passes.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) defines “full name” as the name that matches the full name listed on the individual’s Verifying Identity Document (VID) as defined in 49 CFR 1560.3.
The individual making the booking supplies the full name; TSA does not require a document check when the individual supplies his or her full name when making the booking. *

Last name - max 35 characters.

Alphabetic, no numeric or special characters, except dash ( - ) and single quote ( ‘ ). Do not include suffixes (e.g., jr.). Truncate names longer than 35 characters to 35 characters.

First name - max 35 characters

Secure Flight allows first initial only; however this may cause a higher occurrence of Inhibited responses so not recommended.
Alphabetic, no numeric or special characters, except dash ( - ) and single quote ( ‘ )
Do not include honorifics.
Truncate names longer than 35 characters to 35 characters.

Middle name - max 35 characters
Alphabetic, no numeric or special characters, except dash ( - ) and single quote ( ‘ ).
Truncate names longer than 35 characters to 35 characters.

* If TSA returns a boarding pass printing instruction of “inhibited” to the aircraft operator for an individual, the aircraft operator must obtain a VID from that individual at the airport and verify the information that the individual originally provided.
Page created by on 21-09-2010 12:52.
+ Last editted by Trace on 26-08-2014 16:11. View History

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