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.