Why China’s new passenger information initiative is nothing to freak out about

Oct 20, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In today’s edition of news that sounds insane, China has launched its Interactive Advanced Passenger Information system (IAPI), which tells airlines whether or not passengers are able to enter China before they board the aircraft. While this information certainly seems alarming, a little research shows that a number of countries already use the process — at least 27, including most of Europe and the Caribbean.

The program itself began in the U.S., as a result of efforts made by previous administrations in order to increase air travel safety.

What does the IAPI system entail, exactly? Well, it’s a method to gather information (shockingly) about a passenger prior to travel. Such details include:

  • Full name (last name, first name, middle name if applicable)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Country of residence
  • Travel document type
  • Travel document number (expiry date and country of issue for passport)
  • [For travelers to the US] Address of the first night spent in the US (not required for US citizens/nationals, legal permanent residents, or alien residents of the US entering the US)

If, for example, you’ve ever flown to France, you’ve been asked this information prior to departure. It’s a way for governments to track movements of people in and out of their countries. China has now joined the game, with notifications allowing airlines to check on the day of departure whether or not passengers can board.

It sounds a little crazy and maybe it is, but in this day and age government tracking of airline passengers is at an all-time high. It’s no surprise, then, that China is the latest country to get in the game.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips!

Featured photo courtesy of William Christen / Unsplash.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.