Changes to the way you book flights starts Saturday

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  More changes are coming to the way you book your next flight. The Transportation Safety Administration wants to make it safe and quicker to fly. But, some people are confused on what they need to do. We got your guide to fly right here.

The TSA says the new measures will eliminate almost all chances of passengers being mistaken for people on the Do-Not-Fly list. Something traveler Sherren Hollands doesn't seem to mind. "I think the more protection we have the better off we all are," she says. "It's just one more piece of information that I have to give."

Actually, it is two new pieces of information that you may need to give, starting Saturday: your date of birth and your gender. That, goes along with your full name as issued on your government issued ID, such as your license. That change started to happen in May.

You'll also want to check the name you use for your frequent flyer miles program.

"Just make sure all your ID's are in order and make sure you use the name and you should be absolutely fine," says Martha Meade with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"A lot of people think it's a hassle. But, I much rather go through a little hassle before I get on a flight than be on a flight and be worried about what's going on," adds Sherren.

The new rules won't be mandatory on domestic flights until early 2010 and later that same year for international flights.

"People have become very understanding and very tolerant that traveling is not what it used to be and this will actually help travelers," says Meade.

Better yet, it won't make the security line any longer. All of the new changes will take place behind the scenes when you book your ticket.

"Nobody wants to see another 9-11 and these are all ways to prevent that," says Martha.

Again, this is just in a phasing in process right now. In fact, some of the airlines don't even have the capabilities to ask you those new questions first. So, do not panic, you've got plenty of time to get used to the new system.

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