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Underhill May 11th, 2008 03:49 PM

Different name on passport than on ticket
I just discovered that the name on my husband's ticket does not include both of his given names, which are what's on his passport. American charges $100 to change the ticket but has sent the correction on to BA for our connecting flights. I've written the TSA about the problem--does anyone know whether the name difference will be a security glitch as long as one of his given names is used on the ticket? Help!!!

J62 May 11th, 2008 04:02 PM

If his ticket only says Billy, and not Billy Joe then he will have no problem. Wouldn't most people assume one of his given names was simply his middle name?

janisj May 11th, 2008 04:13 PM

Billy Joe on the passport / Billy on the ticket - absolutely OK

Billy Joe on the passport / James on the ticket - absolutely not OK

A_Traveller May 11th, 2008 04:14 PM

How big a difference are you talking about? Are you saying the name on his ticket is something like "Joe Peter Smith" or even Joe Smith" and the name on his passport is " Joseph Peter Smith". In that case you probably won't have a problem. If, however, the given names are completely different from the name on the passport such as "Joe Smith" on the ticket and "John Smith" on the passport then you may have a problem when you check in to get your boarding pass.

To get past the TSA security checkpoint your husband will need an ID that matches the name on the ticket. That ID doesn't necessarilly have to be his passport - he can use any government issued photo ID like a driver's license. So if he has an ID that matches the ticket he should use that to clear security rathere than his passport. Here again, if the ID he uses says "Joe Smith" and his ticket say "Joseph Peter Smith" he'll be fine.

If you can give us a bit more information or some better example regarding what the name difference perhaps we can be more helpful.

janisj May 11th, 2008 04:30 PM

Yes - clarify. By "not both given names" I just assumed his middle name was omitted . . . . .

Underhill May 11th, 2008 05:19 PM

Thanks very much! It's my husband's first name that's omitted on the ticket, which shows only his middle name--the one he uses all the time His passport, of course, had to match his birth certificate.

mrwunrfl May 11th, 2008 05:30 PM

So the passport says:

and his ticket says:

Those look like two different names to me, but a ticket saying:
would certainly be ok.

freeman0819 May 11th, 2008 07:25 PM

hi, if the passport says JAMES ROBERT SMITH, the ticket should/can say JAMES ROBERT SMITH, JAMES SMITH or even JAMES R. SMITH, is an acceptable option. ROBERT SMITH is another person. The first and last names on the ticket have to match at least the first and last names on the passports. Middle name added to the ticket is optional.

American can put a message in your reservation about the name discrepancy, however, you are "chancing it" about the airline accepting the ticket as the first and last names don't match.

I always travel with my passport, since most of my travel is international, so I don't know that the TSA cares if you show them a passport or driver's license to get in the security line. I would be more concerned about clearing foreign immigration and passport controls.

If I were you, I would pay the $100 in advance and get the ticket changed now/before departure. I work in the travel industry and I have seen people denied boarding due to a name mismatch, up to and including having to buy a new one way ticket just to be able to get home. Not pretty.

Grcxx3 May 12th, 2008 03:36 AM

not necessarily....

My passport lists...
First Name, Middle Name, Maiden Name, Married Name

I do not use my first name - only my middle name. So all my airline tickets are printed as Middle Name + Married Name.

My 2 children are the same way - go by their middle name and tickets are issued as such.

We've never had a problem. Now, our last name is very unusual and 2 of us have rather unusual middle names, so maybe that comes into play. Don't know..... I just know that in 7 years of doing it like this we have never had a problem.

freeman0819 May 12th, 2008 05:17 AM

Grcxx3, you have been lucky. Good for you!

Underhill, I still suggest you pay the $100 to get the ticket corrected. I wouldn't be worth it to me to "chance it" and possibly have your vacation/trip ruined. simply not worth it. If your husband is not let on any of your scheduled flights, how much money will you lose then? More than $100 I am guessing?

Debi May 12th, 2008 09:14 AM

I would also pay the $100 - I travel internationally at least once a month, and have for the last 4 years, and I have seen people turned away due to name mismatches. It just sounds like one of those things that MIGHT be okay - or won't, and do you really want to take that chance? Don't risk it........

zelphiacat May 12th, 2008 09:22 AM

The airlines don't care a thing about your middle name. Name on airline ticket must show legal first name and legal last name.

You could take your chances but there's no way I would.

A_Traveller May 12th, 2008 10:19 AM

It's pretty clear that even the airline considers the current name on Underhill's husband's ticket to be for "different" person otherwise they wouldn't be asking for the $100 change fee. Like mrwunrfl says Joseph Peter Smith is not the same as Peter Smith.

Avoid problems, pay the change fee and get the matter resolved BEFORE your trip. If you are denied boarding, telling the ticket or gate agent that a couple of the contributors on Fodor's Airline Forum said it would be OK is not going to help YOU one bit.

blh May 17th, 2008 06:24 PM

My husband also goes by middle name. His tickets have always been issued by middle and last name as that was the name on his frequent flyer account. We never had a problem flying American - or with connections. However, because of some mileage on BA that wouldn't post because of the name difference on passport, we have changed his FF account to his full name. (Of course, then I had a problem paying for an airline ticket on the internet because the name on the credit card had to match the name on the AA account exactly!) Anyway, I'm assuming your husband has been traveling this way for years without a problem, so one more trip will probably be just fine. Who knows? I would probably just chance it - as we have done for the last ten years without a problem.

RoamsAround May 18th, 2008 08:14 AM

It's very easy for others to tell you to "just chance it" afterall it's not their trip that will be ruined if your husband runs into problems.

Underhill is already expressing concerns. No one like to spend $100 needlessly but when you think of the agrevation Underhill's husband will face if he is not given his boarding pass when he check's in you'll see it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Pay the change fee and be done with it while it's easy.

freeman0819 May 18th, 2008 08:54 AM

Again, pay the fee.

Underhill May 24th, 2008 02:54 PM

The plot has thickened: we would have to pay not only the $100 fee but also for putting my husband's FF mileage back into his account (another fee) and then have it taken out again, assuming that he can then get the seat already booked.

The name difference is that my husband's passport shows Indiana Jones Junior, whereas his ticket just says Jones Junior.

RoamsAround May 25th, 2008 08:14 AM

Additional fees notwithstanding, nothing has altered the fact that the name on the ticket and the name on the passport do match - no matter how you slice it the difference in names can be construded as belonging to 2 different people. You really have no choice but to pay the change fee.

Underhill May 25th, 2008 11:35 AM

Um, wouldn't the fact that the photo matches my husband's face indicate who he is, regardless of the name?

freeman0819 May 25th, 2008 11:46 AM


But clearly you are looking for someone to agree with you that you should do nothing. That's not going to happen. You are hoping the TSA staff at security is willing to let you slide. Good luck!

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