“You might want to let me
hold on to that for you.” That’s what my
mom would say whenever my grandparents gave me something that was, perhaps,
just a wee bit too nice to lose in the back yard. My grandpa
things. He ran an antique store in
really, but with plenty of hidden treasures), and every time we visited, he had
plenty of fun things to give his grandchild.
Old collectible pocket knives, arrow-heads, confederate money, and even
a civil war cannonball were all among the treasures that my mother thought she
should “hold onto for me.” I used to get
upset because I knew that meant mom would put it away somewhere and I’d never
get to play with it unless she was there to watch me. Today, of course, I’m very happy that she
took care of those things for me. Some
of those things are quite collectible today, and while I haven’t made a mint on
the Antiques Road-Show, I have displayed them around the house.
This August, you’ll see a
similar transformation with the TSA (Transportation Security
Administration). Up until now, it has
been the responsibility of the individual airlines to scrutinize their lists of
passengers for names that might be on the “not allowed to fly” list. The folks at the TSA (you know, the same
folks who speak ghetto English and who can’t tell the difference between a bomb
and a pocket watch?) want to “hold onto that list for them.” Apparently, the TSA feels as though the
airlines cannot be trusted and would probably allow a terrorist to fly, just to
collect the ticket and baggage fees from him/her. Who knows, given the fact that most airlines
are a breath away from death, they just might.
For better or for worse, the
TSA has announced the implementation of the Secure Flight program. This will shift all pre-departure watch list
matching responsibilities from individual aircraft operators to the TSA. Under Secure Flight, airlines will gather a
passenger’s full name, date of birth and gender when making an airline
reservation to determine if the passenger is a match to the No Fly or “naughty”
lists. Up to now, gender and date of
birth have not been required to fly.
Neither has your full legal name.
What does this mean to
you? Well first of all, it means that
cashing in your FF miles in order to get a ticket for anyone other than
yourself (as a gift or whatever) will be a pain in the a**. It also means that if you use a corporate s/w
tool to book your travel, you better be darn sure that your full legal name (as
it appears on your passport) is recorded in your travel profile, along with
your gender and DOB.
Hold onto your seats,
people, because if history serves… it will only be a matter of time before the
TSA screws this up. This effort has
already been delayed several times because they couldn’t seem to find a way to
properly secure passenger lists from hackers.
Imagine our own government, building a list of names and passport
numbers, and then handing them over to identity thieves, courtesy of the
TSA? Be aware of this change coming in
August of this year. Keep a sharp eye on
the credit cards you use in your travel profile, and be sure to stay off of the
naughty list! Personally, I can’t wait
for August. I’m dying to see if the TSA
reads this blog. If they do, I’m sure
they already have me down on the “arrest him on site” list!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding
business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT.
Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask
the Expert podcast show.