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How does your airline find out if you're on a no-fly list?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - 05:56 PM

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Ever wonder? So did we. When you buy your ticket? When you pass through security? When they scan your boarding pass as you enter the jetway? None of the above as it turns out. A TSA official tells us that agency requires airlines to check their passenger lists within 24 hours of a flight, before issuing boarding passes.

If you are on the no-fly list, you can't check in at a kiosk, you have to go to the agent, who presumably won't issue you a ticket. And what happened with the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad? From the TSA's point of view, the airline dropped the ball, though that is now under investigation. But the TSA did send out an alert, which they say, should have caused the airline not to issue a ticket.

All that changes now -- the TSA is requiring airlines to check lists every two hours. It will change again, this summer, on domestic flights, when airlines will start sending their passenger lists to the TSA for processing. All international airlines will begin doing the same, before the year is out.

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