June 2nd, 2010

that's a lot of information

Well, maybe not that much.

In order to complete my winter vacation reservation blah blah bleeping blah, the "Secure Flight" something or other over at TSA wants everyone's name as it appears on "government issued id", gender and birth date.

On the one hand, I applaud this initiative. If they're going to have a no fly list, one _definitely_ wants the no fly list to have enough detail so that I don't get confused with some other walkitout, er, you get the general idea. And if the rental car folk want everyone's license number, birth date, expiration of license and who knows what all else, it seems only fair to ask for enough information to differentiate between John Q. Smith, the angry 89 year old who knows how to make explosives, and John Q. Smith, the annoying 9 year old who still thinks farting is the funniest thing ever.

On the other hand, hmmm. Maybe there isn't much of an other hand. This does appear to be the bare minimum to kind of approximately implement their solution. It is a little amazing how long it took to hang out on the phone and navigate through to supply the information -- but I was going to have to do that anyway to get the confirmation code for the flight so I could go pick out seats. It took a little while to collect the information from everyone's "government issued id", but I had to do that for the adults anyway so that when the whole rental car thing happened, we could fill out the application so everyone could drive the thing once we had it.

But it is a little odd that collecting that kind of information turns out to be a noticeable fraction of total planning time for a vacation.