I had a feeling more airlines were doing this...
Source: American Airlines
American Airlines Passenger Data Released in June 2002
Friday April 9, 5:00 pm ET
FORT WORTH, Texas, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines recently learned that in June 2002, at the request of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), some passenger travel data was turned over by an American Airlines vendor to four research companies vying for contracts with TSA.
The discovery came as American reviewed whether it had turned over such data to the TSA following the announcement of data releases by other carriers. American authorized passenger names records (PNRs) held by its vendor, Airline Automation Inc., to be given directly to the TSA. Instead, AAI gave the data to four vendors.
American agreed to provide one week's worth of PNRs -- approximately 1.2 million records -- to the TSA because of the heightened interest in aviation security at the time and American's desire to ensure its passenger and crew safety following the unprecedented attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon only nine months earlier. "Our desire to assist TSA in the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11, was consistent with our focus on safety and security," said John Hotard, spokesperson for American. "No passengers were harmed by the transfer of the data."
A passenger name record is created when a passenger makes a travel reservation and includes itinerary information. AAI required each vendor to execute nondisclosure agreements that governed the use of the PNR data and required the destruction or the return of the data after the project was completed.