Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 21, 11, 11:50 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 12
Help: Missing Middle Name on Ticket

I purchased a ticket for my father to fly JFK-Beijing on Air China. I've been hearing so much about rules tightening & that names on tickets have to exactly match the name on the passport. I checked out his ticket & his middle name was missing, so I called Air China. Genius number one tells me that in order to change it, I have to send them a copy of his passport & that if the names don't match exactly, he could have a problem boarding. Just sent it, called to follow up, got a different person, and she tells me that b/c the ticket was booked online, they can't access it to change the name. This woman assured me that if the middle name is missing from the ticket, it won't be a problem.

To aggravate me even further, I went back to the web site & there isn't even a spot to enter the middle name....which certainly explains why I didn't do it.

Any thoughts on this?
JerseyGirlLisa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 12:06 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Monterey Bay Area
Programs: Independent Libertarian
Posts: 326
Middle Name?

I can't help with your problem but I would like to include a similar issue I
might have traveling. I have a middle initial but NO name.
What to do if some tsa agent wants to know it and how to prove I don't have one?
bajajoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 12:33 pm   #3
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: ORD
Programs: AA Plat, UA 1K 2MM, SPG Plat 100
Posts: 17,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirlLisa View Post
To aggravate me even further, I went back to the web site & there isn't even a spot to enter the middle name....which certainly explains why I didn't do it.

Any thoughts on this?
Yes, my thought is that there will be NO problem. The rule, generally applied is that the names MUST be consistent, but because humans are involved in the entire process, the airlines allow for consistency and "identical-ness" to diverge.

For example, if you booked a ticket for John Smith and the passport name was John X. Smith - you're going to be fine.
If you booked for John X. Smith and the passport name was John A. Smith, you COULD have a problem.

Good luck
Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by bajajoes View Post

What to do if some tsa agent wants to know it and how to prove I don't have one?
No such thing will occur. Relax and enjoy your trip.

Dave

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jan 24, 11 at 1:26 am. Reason: merge consecutive posts
bseller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 12:38 pm   #4
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lawrence, Kansas (FOE/MCI)
Programs: UA 1K/RCC, AA EXP BIS, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, G.E./NEXUS, Amex, TSA Disparager Unobtanium
Posts: 18,989
You'll be fine. I also have a middle name, but never use my full name on tickets, even though it's on my pp card... Don't worry, enjoy the trip
__________________
Thanks for the memories, UA | 4/5/1926-3/2/2012
Check out my Travel Blog | TSA Pre-Check for UA Passengers
FriendlySkies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 1:04 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 12
Thx everyone.

Funny, I too only have a middle initial (I know...right???)...LOL...but for the person who asked, I think the key is that your documents should match your passport. In my case, my passport has only my middle initial, so I don't think any further proof is necessary that there's no middle name...as long as tickets match.

I'm just annoyed b/c Air China didn't even give me the option.

UPDATE: I called TSA & asked them & they said that b/c not all the airlines are "on board" with providing a spot for a middle name, they're not enforcing it at this point.
JerseyGirlLisa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 1:15 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CLT
Posts: 6,344
The thing to remember is there are 2 names in the system. There is the name that prints on boarding passes and is horribly limited on characters, then there is the secure flight name.
The secure flight name is checked against the no fly list. If you are asked for secure flight information you should provide the full name. Until boarding passes can accommodate longer names it is impossible for TSA to enforce the middle name thing. The way boarding passes print names it adds the middle name/initial to the end of the first name so if Robert Alan Smith only has Robert A. Smith on his DL maybe he books a ticket as SMITH/ROBERTA or some agents book it as MRSMITH/ROBERTA. Still very ambiguous
My passport card has my full middle name. My boarding passes are just last/first. works in the US and Canada.
__________________
Fly Gracefully
gj83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 2:35 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: CMH
Programs: United, Delta
Posts: 421
I had similar concerns for my flight last week, so I went to the TSA site and printed off the relevant portion of the FAQ for Secure Flight:

Quote:
If the name printed on my boarding pass is different than what appears on my government ID, will I still be able to fly?

Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes process that TSA and airlines collaborate on to compare the information you provide against government watch lists. The additional data elements that you may be asked to provide, such as date of birth and gender, serve to better differentiate you from individuals on the government watch lists.

Due to differences in boarding pass systems, boarding passes may not always display the exact name you provided when booking your travel. The name you provide when booking your travel is used to perform the watch list matching before a boarding pass is ever issued, so small differences between the passenger's ID and the passenger name printed on the boarding pass, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, or hyphens and apostrophes should not cause a problem for the passenger.
I had no issues with the TSA TDCs as to the name on my ticket not precisely matching my ID, FWIW.
NotaCriminal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 7:36 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,974
There's no issue at TDC: the concern for international flights is passport matching.

For domestic flights, I don't bother to correct typos or care at all about middle name issues because nobody will care (or likely even notice). The only issue (in the case of a typo) is that you lose the ability to quickly check in at a kiosk by swiping a credit card.

For international flights, the passport is often read electronically. In that case, the computer will see a mismatch if there's a typo (and potentially with a middle name issue) and the kiosk (or check-in agent), but NOT the TSA will have to decide whether to care about the mismatch. But unless it's significant, most do not. And, as was pointed out, with the advent of SecureFlight, there's a second name field and that one you can easily change to whatever you want.
RichardKenner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 11, 7:59 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SMF
Posts: 64
You (both) do have a middle name. It's just one letter in length.

An initial in this sense, by definition, is the initial, or first, letter of a proper name. In your cases, it happens that the initial is also the entire name.

Regarding ticketing, in my limited experience, there's no likely problem for missing the middle name. As mentioned, it's only likely to be a problem if there is contradicting information between the ticket and ID.
B748i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 22, 11, 8:17 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev- View Post
Regarding ticketing, in my limited experience, there's no likely problem for missing the middle name. As mentioned, it's only likely to be a problem if there is contradicting information between the ticket and ID.
This is a good time to remind people that the name on the ticket, which you probably never see since it's usually electronic, need not agree with the name on the reservation. Earlier this month, I was trying to get a typo corrected on an international itinerary involving a three-carrier interline e-ticket. That means there are seven distinct places where the name is stored and each can be different (the PNR name fiels for each of the airlines, the SecureFlight (SSR DOCS) for each airline, and the eticket). At one point, one of the airline agents produced a second typo while trying to fix the first, so there were three different values between those fields. We eventually were able to fix five of them, but two (one carrier's PNR name field and the eticket) couldn't be corrected. It did mean the passenger couldn't check in online, but caused no other problem.
RichardKenner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 11, 3:35 am   #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 280
If my name is Jason Ryan Smith...

Ticket saying "J.R. Smith" and ID saying "Jason R. Smith" = OK
Ticket saying "J. Ryan Smith" and ID saying "J.R. Smith" = OK
Ticket saying "Jason Smith" and ID saying "Jason R. Smith" OK
Ticket saying "Jason Johnson" and ID saying "Jason Smith" = NOT OK
Ticket saying "Jason Ryan Smith" and ID saying "Jason Smith" = OK
Ticket saying "John R. Smith" and ID saying "Jason R. Smith" = NOT OK
Ticket saying "Jason T. Smith" and ID saying "Jason Smith" = OK
Ticket saying "Jason T. Smith" and ID saying "Jason Ryan Smith" = NOT OK

Basically, as long as there is is not a major discrepancy, you're fine.


Also if your ticket lists your name as SMITH/JASONR or SMITH/JAS and your name is "Jason Ryan Smith" you'll be fine. Many ticket systems truncate names or they append the middle initial on with no spacing or delimiter.

Last edited by xSTRIKEx6864; Jan 23, 11 at 3:36 am. Reason: Adding
xSTRIKEx6864 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 23, 11, 5:13 am   #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSTRIKEx6864 View Post
Ticket saying "Jason T. Smith" and ID saying "Jason Ryan Smith" = NOT OK
First of all, you mean boarding pass here, not "ticket". The only time the name on the ticket matters is if it differs from the name field of the PNR, in which case it'll suppress online and kiosk checkin.

Quote:
Basically, as long as there is is not a major discrepancy, you're fine.
I disagree that the above is a "major discrepancy": it's a one-character typo.
Yes, it's the worst possible such and there's a chance that somebody will interpret it the way you did, but fundamentally it's an error in one characters and humans are fallible in that way.
RichardKenner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 11, 7:48 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
What if you booked under Jason Ryan Allan Smith
and the ticket booked as:SMITH/JASONRY (truncating your middle name)

and THEN you check your passport and it says Jason R A Smith.

Thoughts?
katie957 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 2, 11, 9:25 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,010
I just use first and last name when buying a ticket, although my passport in includes my middle name. Since there is no space provided to enter your middle name when buying a ticket, you can put both first and middle (as much as will fit) in the space for first name but some strange conflation will show up on your boarding pass. Ima Popcorn Kettle will come out Imapop Kettle, for example. Unless your middle name is short, better to stick with first and last or use the middle initial.
Tizzette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 3, 11, 2:48 am   #15
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,440
The TSA made a big deal about wanting full names a while ago, and I got worried, having a very long name with more than 1 middle one, which does not fit on most online forms. In practice, they ended up never enforcing the rule. I have been traveling using just first and last, without any questions asked or comments from the ID checkers at all.
BubbaLoop is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 8:17 am.