Our “Bestiary”

Passenger Name Records (PNR)

An airline ticket with cartoonish eyes, hands and feet.

Passenger Name Records (PNR) is data collected by commercial airlines and booking agencies at the point of a ticket purchase that include a traveler’s name, timestamped IP address, credit card number, itinerary, email address, and information about a person’s travel companions.Footnote 1 A PNR number may be called a record locator, booking reference, or reservation code. It is an automatically-generated code with five or six alphanumeric characters. PNR data could contain emergency contact information, records from transportation other than flights, car rental history, organizational affiliations or employer.Footnote 2 It might archive hotel reservations (including number of beds requested), records of meal requests, and free-form notes made by officers at national borders.Footnote 3 Airlines share PNR with DHS, and these data are used by various DHS data systems and prediction tools to seek patterns, predict “risk” and “identify abnormalities in travel patterns.”Footnote 4

Jump to top of page