FRANKFURT (Lufthansa) - As of 4th October, the USA is changing its entry regulations. The airlines will then be obliged to already transmit the first U.S. address of passengers to the U.S. authorities at take-off. The U.S. authorities are currently communicating with the airlines how to implement these new regulations.
As a customer and service-oriented airline, Lufthansa is attempting, as far as possible, to make entry easier for the passengers taking into account the legal obligations imposed by the U.S. authorities. In order to continue to guarantee passengers a simple entry into the USA, Lufthansa will directly gather the required data electronically during the check-in. Electronic registration will start as of 22nd November and will make it possible to enter the data of transfer passengers already into the system at the feeder airport. Up to 22nd November, the current practice will continue to apply. The long-term aim as of the second quarter of 2006, is to collect the required data largely when making the reservation via the Lufthansa web side, the Call Centers or the Lufthansa ticket counters at the airports.
The new elements in the extended data acquisition ("APIS Final Rule") is the first address during the stay in the USA, the country of the place of residence of the passenger, the origin and ultimate destination airport, information as to whether the passenger is in transit, the reservation code as well as the type of document. The only exceptions to the registration of addresses are U.S. citizens, passengers with Green Cards and those who are passing through the USA in transit to a third country; apart from that, passengers on flights from the USA. The data will be treated confidentially and will not be used for commercial purposes.
As a consequence of the attacks of 11th September 2001, the airlines have already been legally obliged since November 2001 to provide advance notice of passport data to the U.S. authorities via the “Advanced Passport Information System" (“APIS”) for all flights to the USA. In this connection, passport data such as first and family name, nationality, passport number, date of birth and gender are registered electronically by scanners from the machine-readable passports at the check-in for USA flights and passed on to the U.S. immigration authorities.
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