In the first phase, which was instituted earlier this year, the security agency asked airlines to begin collecting passenger names as they appear exactly, letter for letter, on government-issued IDs like passports and driver’s licenses. The second phase, effective Aug. 15, requests airlines to ask passengers for their gender and date of birth.
In theory, the new rules are designed to help the Transportation Security Administration distinguish between a John X. Doe, who is a 9-year-old boy, and a John Z. Doe, who is a 34-year-old man on a terrorist list. (more here)
We say: Most of the time my airline ticket says "KARLA ZIEGLER" instead of "KARL A ZIEGLER". I tend to wonder if this inspection is actually effective and if we can come up with a better, less painful way to do the whole screening process while increasing security.