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New Security Program for Passengers Departing Philippines for US

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Airline passengers from the Philippines bound for the United States are now required to provide detailed personal information before taking their flight in compliance with the Secure Flight Program, a new security measure being implemented by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Starting today (15 October 2010), US-bound passengers of Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be asked to give their complete name (as reflected in the passport), date of birth, gender, nationality, passport number, visa number and address at destination in the US.

This information will be asked for when booking a flight or buying a ticket either by phone through PAL Reservations, the PAL website, at any PAL ticket office or any accredited travel agent.

The information shall be transmitted by PAL through its Departure Control System (DCS) for matching against the US DHS database. Results of the data matching would be reflected in the PAL DCS when a passenger checks in for the flight.

The Secure Flight Program requires specific data from passengers of all flights (including code share flights) by US-based and non-US-based carriers that fly to/from/within/over the US, including Guam and Saipan.

The program seeks to facilitate passenger handling by screening out those tagged as inhibited/prohibited from entering the US, starting at point of origin.

Passengers who would be misidentified for someone else in the database and eventually cleared to take their flight should submit a Redress Control Number (RCN) issued by the US DHS. Affected passengers are advised to always give their RCN in subsequent bookings or ticket purchases to avoid any future mismatch and inconvenience.

According to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website "Secure Flight is a behind the scenes program that enhances the security of commercial air travel through the use of improved watch list matching. By collecting additional passenger data, it will improve the travel experience for all airline passengers, including those who have been misidentified in the past."

PAL is implementing the program starting 15 October 2010 for flights beginning 1 November 2010.

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