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Thursday, January 18, 2007



One common confusion that occurs with the No Fly List is differentiating between when a person is truly on the list and he's not really allowed to fly, versus when someone has the same name as a person who is on the list. The latter is known as being a false positive.

A person who is really, truly on the list will not be allowed to fly. And, unfortunately, it's much easier for a person to be put on the list than to get themselves taken off it.

But, the majority of people affected are those who have the same name as another person who is on the No Fly List. If the name John Smith were put on the list, then anytime a passenger named John Smith buys an airline ticket, the system is going to flag that person as potentially being someone who is on the No Fly List, because they only do the initial match based on a name. In order to receive a boarding pass, the passenger has to show identification at the airport to prove that he is not the John Smith on the list. Once he presents proof, he will be issued a boarding pass.

This means that John Smith can never use internet check-in or the automatic kiosks because each time he flies he has to prove to the airline that he is not the person that they are required to deny transport to.

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