First JetBlue incited customer wrath (and a lawsuit) by releasing some 5 million customer records to the government, then Northwest did the same in January of this year. You'd think that the ensuing disaffection of customers and expensive lawsuits would be enough to scare the other airlines into respecting the privacy of customer information. You would, of course, be wrong.
From this morning's Wall Street Journal (subscription):
In a disclosure likely to rekindle privacy-concern fires, AMR Corp.'s American Airlines admitted giving information on 1.2 million passengers to outside research companies vying for contracts with the Transportation Security Administration.I've never flown JetBlue, it's been years since I flew either Northwest or American; it may be a long time before I fly on any of them. If your travel plans include any of these airlines in the near future, you should consider letting them know how you feel about this.
American's disclosure comes at a sticky time for the TSA, which is struggling to develop the new system amid growing privacy concerns by the public. Testing for the screening system is already months behind schedule.