Another double whammy involving the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) brought the agency under fire this week as USA Today reported that the TSA plans to gather more traveler data are being protested by major airlines and travel agencies and KOMO-TV reported the disgraceful treatment endured by some Fort Lewis soldiers who were escorting the remains of a fallen comrade home to Virginia.
Major airlines and travel agencies are protesting a governmental proposal to start collecting birth dates, full names and genders of people reserving airline flights saying it would be invasive, confusing and useless. The TSA wants passengers to give the additional personal information so it can do more precise background checks saying it will result in fewer of the 700 million travelers who fly commercially each year in the USA being mistaken for terrorists.
The airlines say passengers are going to resist providing more details and that it will be a time-consuming process. United Airlines wrote the TSA saying that asking for a passenger’s birth date and gender would create a new level of complications for completing air reservations and that seeking useless data carries an unacceptably high price tag.
The Air Transport Association, the American Society of Travel Agents, Continental and Virgin airlines have also written the TSA opposing asking travelers for their birth dates and genders. The opposition for soliciting full names is not as strong. Only a last name and first initial are currently provided by travelers.