No more last minute travel, thanks to new TSA law

11 years ago

Last week, I was in Atlanta and got finished with my business a day early. Rather than sit around for a day doing nothing, I went online and found a $69 Air-Tran ticket (one way) from Atlanta to Newport News (home) - scheduled to depart in a mere four hours. Excitedly, I booked the ticket and six hours later, I was sitting in my favorite green chair at home, 24 hours ahead of time.

As of September 15th, this will no longer be allowed. I got an email from American Airlines that shocked me out of my socks.

Dear Rosemary Thornton,

Secure Flight is designed to enhance the security of domestic and international commercial air travel by streamlining the DHS watch list matching process.

The next phase in this program requires that effective November 1, all passengers have Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) in their reservation at least 72 hours prior to departure. You will be unable to travel without providing this information.

How will this affect you?

In compliance with this mandate, you will be required to provide Secure Flight Passenger Data (full name, date of birth, gender and redress number*, if applicable):

To purchase any ticket on or after September 15, 2010, regardless of travel date

To travel November 1, 2010, or later, regardless of purchase date

Take steps now to be sure you are ready to travel.

You will need to provide Secure Flight Passenger Data:

If it was not provided when you made your reservation

For reservations made prior to adding SFPD to your AAdvantageî account profile

For all future reservations

Learn more about Secure Flight and find instructions for handling each of the above scenarios at

If I'm reading this correctly (and I'm not sure I am), this means there will be no more last minute travel. All trips have a built-in buffer of 72 hours. For those who may say it doesn't affect them, imagine getting news of a loved one - hundreds of miles away - who need you immediately.

I can add this info to my AA account, but what if I book another last minute flight on Delta, or Air Tran or Frontier Airlines or on another airline where I do not have a "frequent flier" account?

Has anyone else run into this?


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