Who to Believe? The TSA or Passengers Still Stuck on No-Fly List?

The TSA tells us that now they are in charge of deciding who can and can not fly (instead of the individual airlines as was previously the case) there is greater consistency and efficiency in matching passenger names against no fly security lists.

The TSA also says that 99% of passengers suffering from a name similar to a terrorist name can solve the problem by getting a ‘redress’ number that makes the former problem a non-issue.  Details here.


We had also been told, earlier, by the TSA that the reason we now have to advise our date of birth and gender every time we fly is so they can better screen us against possible terrorists with similar names and easily eliminate obvious mismatches such as very young children, senior citizens, and people of the wrong gender.  This seems sensible and understandable, doesn’t it.

So how can we reconcile these preceding two statements with

this account
of a six year old girl who ended up on the no fly list?  Surely this should never happen when the TSA already knows this is a 6 year old girl (or have 6 yr old girls now started committing acts of international terrorism against airlines?).

Alas, it seems that the date of birth/gender data is being completely ignored.  And as for the claim about 99% of passengers with a problem being able to solve the problem with a redress number, that doesn’t seem to be happening either.

So – who to believe?  The TSA?  Or the 6 yr old girl and her family.

2 thoughts on “Who to Believe? The TSA or Passengers Still Stuck on No-Fly List?”

  1. Considering that most travelers flying within the U.S. use a driver’s license for I.D., why can’t TSA have readers to scan them. Most driver’s licenses have either a magnetic stripe or a barcode that contains various information about the driver, including the physical description of the driver.
    If a TSA screener could swipe the card, it could than run the name, birth date, description, and address against the watch list and get either a yea or nay as to subjecting the passenger to extra scrutiny.
    Most police cars are equiped with card swipers, so the officer doesn’t have to input by hand data from the license. Drug stores such as Walgreen’s and Osco/Super Valu now have swimping devices, so that paperwork for regulated OTC cold medication doesn’t have to be completed by hand.
    This shouldn’t be that big of a technology step. Some airports now have scanners to read boarding pass bar codes, to prevent terrorists from creating fake boarding passes to get around the watch lists.

  2. Pingback: Security Roundup week ending 2 July 2010 » The Travel Insider

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