Airport security gets a little more personal - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Airport security gets a little more personal

SPOKANE, Wash. - Prepare yourself for airport security to get a little more personal. It's the first publicly noticeable step in a multi-phase government plan to help keep air travel safe.

Starting today, in addition to handing over a boarding pass and ID in the security line, passengers making reservations will have to provide their full name, just as it appears on the government ID they plan to use when boarding the plane.

Travel agent Nancy Nemecek said "when you make your reservation you need to give your name exactly, and that means first name, middle name, if that's what's on your ID, and your last name."

It's part of a Transportation Security Administration program being phased in called Secure Flight.

Nemecek said "if your ticket is not correct, you may not get on the airplane."

By mid-August, passengers will also have to provide their birthday and gender when booking a flight.

The plan shifts responsibility for checking passenger names against terrorist watch lists from the airlines to the TSA.

Personal information on most passengers will be kept no more than seven days. Privacy advocates say the changes amount to government control that may not result in better security.

The TSA says it will help improve the quality of the watch lists and reduce the number of people drilled because their name resembles one on the list.

TSA's goal is to expand the program from domestic to international flights next year.

The Secure Flight program is partly the result of recommendations of the 9-11 Commission and congressional requirements from the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act.

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