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Southwest Airlines Community

Secure Flight Procedures

jchaussee
Employee
Employee
The Safety and Security  of our Customers is our number one priority at Southwest Airlines. Period. This commitment to a safe and secure operation is shared by all Southwest Employees, from the Boardroom to the New Hire training classroom. Our commitment to Safety and Security is job one throughout our aircraft, all over our 67 airports, and within our offices.

The commitment will expand on October 1, 2009. On that date Southwest Airlines will begin participating in the government’s new Secure Flight program. As a Customer, you may notice two small but meaningful changes when you book your reservation to fly under the new Secure Flight program. In addition to ensuring that the name provided when you book your travel matches the government ID (state issued drivers license or passport) that you will use when traveling, we will also ask for your date of birth and for your gender.

Why are we making these changes? Here are the two short answers: First, It’s the law! Uncle Sam enacted a statute back in 2004 mandating the Secure Flight program for all airlines along with many other programs recommended by the 9/11 Commission Report. Second, Secure Flight is an improvement to our aviation security program. These changes will further enhance our ability to prevent dangerous individuals from boarding our flights if they are on the federal government’s No-Fly list, and lessen the odds someone is wrongly matched on the No-Fly list.

For more information about the Secure Flight program go to: http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/secureflight/

Fly safe!

25 Comments
tusphotog
Explorer A
Ok, I get it you have to do what the TSA says. It's dumb (we all know that). However, why do you put the passenger's middle name in the confirmation email/subject line etc? Does this mean it'll print on my boarding pass, too? I ask because Alaska has had this (in)secure flight nonsense going on for a few months now and my boarding pass doesn't look any different today than it did back in January. So, are the secure flight boarding passes any different now than before?
Joe30
Explorer C
I just received an email today with the subject line of "Important Notice: TSA Secure Flight" and askiing for me to update details of my RapidRewards account including date of birth and gender. Is this a legitimate email or spam? The links back go to luv.southwest.com not just southwest.com.
T_11
Explorer C
So, is the e-mail I got today regarding this a legit e-mail or a phishing scam?
Jim_McCue
Explorer C
Are you sending e-mails out to all customers titled "Important Notice: TSA Secure Flight", and asking for the following? Your full name, exactly as it appears on the current (non-expired) government-issued photo ID that you will be traveling with Date of birth Gender The TSA-issued Redress Number** (if applicable) If so, I'd recommend putting something on your main home page so people know it's for real. So many phishing e-mails are out there these days, and this looks a lot like one. Thanks! -Jim McCue, IS Manager Rodey Law Firm Albuquerque, NM
pberg
Frequent Flyer B
Sorry for the trouble, folks - the email is from Southwest Airlines, however, we are having some trouble with our RR database and Secure Flight site. We are working out the kinks now. Please standby, and thank you for your patience. Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
R__Kooris
Explorer C
I received the same "TSA Secure Flight" e-mail requesting sensitive information, Looks exactly like other forged phishing e-mails I've received, allegedly from Amazon, Paypal, eBay, etc. If this is legit, you really need to do things differently. The e-mail should simply direct people to log into their Rapid Rewards account and supply the TSA mandated info. We are trained to NEVER hit a link in an unsolicited e-mail that supposedly directs us to an official company site because you don't know where you are really going. If this is legit, you are training people to do the wrong thing. if it is a forgery, you need to e-mail all your Rapid Rewards members and let them know.
Pat_Kennedy
Explorer C
Are we required to have the information updated online, or can we take care of it the next time we travel at the ticked counter?
Michael_Phillip
Explorer C
It may be legit but this email sure "smells" like a phishing scam. I have always been wary of any communication asking for information that does not address me personally. Even when I get an email requesting information, I usually call or write (yes, snail mail) the company with the info. Too much fraud online these days not to.
SWFlyer
Explorer C
Hrm. I'm supposed to check in in about 45 minutes. However, logging in to my RR either fails entirely, or the fields on the My Account page all show "Error retrieving information". Also, when I go to check in, I now get a weird "Secure Document Available", instead of the normal "Must check in within 24 hours" error page that I usually get. I'm on hold with SW Customer Support (55 minute wait time!). Will I be able to check in? I've been at the front of the A group for my last year's worth of flights, and I don't want to mar that record.... 🙂
Curtis_Jones
Explorer C
Pay attention to Jim McCue's note.this afternoon. The "Important Notice..." looked genuine, but I sure wasn't about to click on a link in it. So I went to Southwest's Web site another way. Now if it would only let me log in .... When it does, I hope there will be clear directions on the action required.
Curtis_Jones
Explorer C
"...no need to add this additional information prior to your upcoming trip"? That's in the "Important Notice:..." in today's e-mail. We're booked withOUT full name, birth date and gender. Does that mean we do NOT have to log in to Southwest and update our account information? Curtis
KF
Explorer C
I can understand needing the same name as on your driver's license/passport for ID verification purposes and maybe a birth date (although I do not like giving mine out because of the inevitable jokes), but I find being asked for gender a bit offensive. What is the reasoning? There is also the small percentage of the population that does not identify themselves along traditional lines as well to consider.
Anonymous3209
Explorer C
You state: In addition to ensuring that the name provided when you book your travel matches the government ID (state issued drivers license or passport) It is actually impossible to provide a name that is always used for booking and which will match every form of ID I possess. Passports require all given names to be shown in full. Driver's licenses (at least in my state) can only display a single middle initial - useless for anyone who actually uses a middle name or has more than one - and do not allow embedded spaces (e.g. van Damme) or hyphens. Airline bookings typically also have restrictions on how the name can be formatted, which may or may not match one of these. Whatever format I choose, it will never match *both* of these IDs.
Anonymous3720
Explorer C
This is just a baby step for TSA. They will soon amend the law to require even more personal information, like social security number, height, weight, eye color, shoe size etc. TSA's ultimate goal is to have everyone's DNA by 2020 This will compliment their new screening machines that can see through your clothes which essentially performs a virtual "strip search"...even children aren't exempt. So will all this keep us safe? Hardly. Keep in mind that 9/11 hihackers (19 of them) all had valid identification with valid boarding passes.
tusphotog
Explorer A
The email is legit. If you haven't logged in to your mysouthwest account and updated your profile, there will be a banner on there that prompts you to update the secure flight data. I did this yesterday morning. Now, someone from WN, will you PLEASE answer my question about what your boarding passes will contain now. I'm about to go make a refundable reservation and find out myself. I just want to save myself the trouble.
pberg
Frequent Flyer B
tusphotog - Boarding passes shouldn't change a bit.
GigiB
Explorer C
I, too, suspected the email of being some kind of scam, especially since the "link" doesn't identify the link address. I feel somewhat better now that I've read everything here, but I only fly round-trip 1x per year. Can't I just wait until next year when I book my flight to update this info?
tusphotog
Explorer A
@Paula Berg: Thank you. I figured that was the case, but I wanted to double check.
R_Shaffer
Explorer C
I, too, received the same "TSA Secure Flight" e-mail requesting me to click on the link to update my information, This approach is how other phishing e-mails are formatted. If this is legitimate, why are you presenting your request this way? Most banks will tell you right up front, they NEVER request information thru links - you are asked to go to their website separately and login to your account. What bothers me most is that when I went to login to southwest.com, the information in the Rapids Rewards section is on a page on the Southwest.com site, not a site called 'luv.southwest.com/servlet/cc6?kOHpjQDBC...' If this is legit, why aren't the websites for information the same? And if it isn't legit - how did they get my name, my RR # and my email address? R Kooris is right, if it is a forgery, you need to e-mail all your Rapid Rewards members and let them know.
Anonymous2997
Explorer C
I keep getting debug error messages! I am unable to sign-on. Are you still having problems with this site? Thanks
Anonymous3161
Explorer C
I think it's about time they start getting more strict and really checking who flies. I see too many people at the airport acting like the terrorist threat is over! It is not and I want to feel safe when I fly. As someone who is not about hurting others, I want them to check me more thourouh and make sure that I am a safe person to be on a plane. If they are that thourough with me then they will be with others. If they do this to everyone they have a greater chance of finding and stopping the ugly people who want to hurt and destroy Americans. This new update is to screen out the uglies and at the same time not make it a pain for us to fly. I say do it to it!
Anonymous1224
Explorer C
Strange, this is the second email I have gotten lately that I needed to validate. The first came from an ISP that should have known better. Additionally I had two people in my office ask about the SWA email as well. I agree with the comments above, drop the links. Let the person find their own way to your site and then give them a nice link on your page.
Tim6
Explorer C
Great - more meaningless paperwork and increased opportunities for the identity thieves. Concur with the person above noting the huge variety of ID name structures. My driver's license includes a hypenated last name, but SW's system can't accept a hypen. So I'll show up at the gate with my non-matching boarding pass and ID - what then? I know all this is a TSA mandate, but it was announced months ago. Surely SW has had time to update its system to accommodate the increasing numbers of people with hyphenated last names - especially if the edict from the feds was to match boarding passes and IDs!
KarinDuval
New Arrival

Why hasn't this been fixed yet??

It is 2020.

It produces a great deal of anxiety to have a ticket that does not match your license or passport. There isn't even a way to indicate the actual name anywhere, so SW is not giveing the proper data to the TSA.

 

Some Airlines allow you to add folks for whom you often buy tickets - if we could enter the actual name there at least the airline would have it.

 

Not impressed.

KarinDuval
New Arrival

"ensuring that the name provided when you book your travel matches the government ID (state issued drivers license or passport) that you will use when traveling,"  You won't accept a hyphenanted last name - making matching any government  issued ID actually impossible.