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TSA's “Secure Flight” passport/ticket name discrepancy problem

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Sorry in advance for the length of this post, but I want to be sure to give all the particulars.

I just booked a New Year's trip to Paris for 8 ladies who have hired me to be a travel organizer and private guide. Due to this TSA "program" set to begin in November, the booking agent insisted on having the tickets issued with first, middle and last names, so I therefore instructed the ladies to have their passports issued with all three names as well.

One of the group went to the post office for her passport application/filing, and the clerk told her she needed to list her name on the passport as it appeared on her driver's license which is first name, middle initial and last name. I pulled up the form for first time applicants and with my own eyes, I can see that the form clearly states FIRST and MIDDLE names in one box with a separate box for LAST.

When I found out, I told her that would not match the ticket, so she called the passport agency and they told her they would use her middle name rather than just initial. Well, her passport arrived today, and you guessed it, it was issued with middle initial only. Needless to say, she is about to freak, especially since the passport office is telling her it is not a LAW to put your full middle name on a passport.

She called the airline, and they've told her she probably won't have any trouble leaving the country but might have trouble getting back in. She is not willing to pay a change fee to have the ticket reissued in the name on the passport. The travel agent tells me as long as the middle name is on the ticket and the initial on the passport matches that there won't be a problem.

Does anybody have any definitive info on this situation? Any insight? Thanks.

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