A majority of members in the European Parliament approved a revised agreement on sharing flight passengers' data with the US authorities, who have agreed to mask out passengers' names and contact details after six months.
The data will then be kept for up to five years, after which point it will move to a 'dormant' database for 10 years more.
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the agreement provides stronger protection for the right to citizens' privacy as well as more legal certainty for airlines.
"At the same time, it fully meets the security needs of the United States of America and the EU. Under the new agreement, data of passengers travelling to the United States of America will be used to fight serious transnational crime and terrorism," she said in a statement.
The European Parliamentary approval marks a shift in EU resistance to sharing citizens' information with US authorities.
Members of the parliament have battled for more than five years to scale back agreements that allow the United States to access and store the data of air passengers, arguing that it is an invasion of privacy that can lead to false arrests.
Prior to departure airlines must make the data available to US authorities, including the names, addresses, credit card details and seat numbers of the travellers.
Critics of the agreement say passenger data has not helped US authorities catch suspected criminals or terrorists but the Department of Homeland Security insists the data is needed to conduct criminal investigations anyway.