Passport name vs ticket name

Old Nov 18, 04, 1:49 am
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Passport name vs ticket name

as a new poster please be kind to this question, I also think the question belongs in this forum but could be wrong !

The name on my passport is Maxwell (first name), noone calls me Maxwell, just Max, when booking a recent airline ticket from London to US without thinking I told the agent my first name was Max and not Maxwell...is this a real issue ? I just know that it is such a big hassle to get an airline to change anything once a ticket is ticketed.

Obviously my concern is on checkin at LHR but more importantly getting through immigration at IAD and subsequently making it through security with those sticklers, the TSA agents !

Any help much appreciated
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Old Nov 18, 04, 1:57 am
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Originally Posted by maxdxb
as a new poster please be kind to this question, I also think the question belongs in this forum but could be wrong !

The name on my passport is Maxwell (first name), noone calls me Maxwell, just Max, when booking a recent airline ticket from London to US without thinking I told the agent my first name was Max and not Maxwell...is this a real issue ? I just know that it is such a big hassle to get an airline to change anything once a ticket is ticketed.

Obviously my concern is on checkin at LHR but more importantly getting through immigration at IAD and subsequently making it through security with those sticklers, the TSA agents !

Any help much appreciated
Common nicknames/diminutives (in the English-speaking world) pass with little issue.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 12:08 am
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I wouldn't sweat it too much. Max/Maxwell is common in the US. As long as the last name matches and the picture is reasonabley close you should be fine. As long as yoiur middle name isn't Yusef or Islam or Cat or Steven then US Customs should give you no problems.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 12:20 am
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other options

good day,

if you are still somewhat queasy because of the name "mismatch" there may be two other options available to you:

1/ i do not know the particulars of your fare basis, but is it possible for you to cancel the original ticket with your airline [if issued less than 24 hours ago] and then rebook the flight with your first name spelled out completely? obviously, this also depends on availability on your desired flight and what the cost is now, etc.

2/ you can call your airline and explain your situation, stressing that you do not wish to generate a security hangup. once you have done that, ask the agent to add an OSI with your full name [OSI field = other significant information field]. that way, the agent would type in something akin to:
OSI XX PAX FULL NAME ON UK PASSPORT NUMBER ######### IS MAXWELL BARNABY JONES-SMYTHE
that way, if anyone at the airline questions you/your identity, just say "please check the OSI fields".

but, i also concur with the previous poster -- the difference between max and maxwell will hardly be noticed [unless someone named maxine tries to use your ticket].

Last edited by travis bickle; Nov 19, 04 at 12:22 am
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Old Nov 19, 04, 12:35 am
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Shouldn't be a big deal. They deal with this sort of thing all the time.

Like you, I would think the TSA would be your only potential sticky area -- they seem to be inconsistent in handling things, so you never know what they'll do.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 1:51 am
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People travel with diminutives like Mike for Michael, Bill for William, Rob or Bob for Robert, Jack for John, Jim for James or Jimmy, Kathy or Cathy or Kate for Katherine, Jenny or Jen for Jennifer, etc. all the time. People even travel with the first and last name swapped.

Doesn't cause any issue even for international travel other than possibly making it a little harder for the agent to find your record if they use your photo id or a passport swipe to pull up the record.
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Old Nov 19, 04, 1:58 am
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If you do not ahve a US Passport it may be an issue!!! but to be on the safe side check with the airline directly.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 4:53 pm
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passport issues

Originally Posted by GUWonder
Common nicknames/diminutives (in the English-speaking world) pass with little issue.
My son name is Andrew but he purchased a ticket in the common nmae he uses Drew. Do I need to be concerned? He is traveling to Spain and Germany this summer. We have been on international travel before but made sure ticket name adn passport matched. he used his Orbitz account name Drew to purchase.

I am thinking of providing him a notatrized document stating he goes by both names and have him take his birth certificate along with his passport.

Thoughts?
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Old Dec 14, 05, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Dad5659
My son name is Andrew but he purchased a ticket in the common nmae he uses Drew. Do I need to be concerned? He is traveling to Spain and Germany this summer. We have been on international travel before but made sure ticket name adn passport matched. he used his Orbitz account name Drew to purchase.

I am thinking of providing him a notatrized document stating he goes by both names and have him take his birth certificate along with his passport.

Thoughts?
Presuming he's American, what I would consider doing is contacting the airline and have the name "difference" noted in the PNR. If the diminutive/nickname used was Andy for Andrew, it'd be far less of an "issue"; and, FWIW or not worth, I'd simply travel and not give it a second thought. With "Drew" for Andrew, I have no experience; but as long as the airline goes for it, there's no issue.

The notarized document noting both names being used is not a bad idea, but it's more clutter to burden the airline rep with. (The immigration authorities in the EU Schengen zone and in the US won't require it and it could just complicate matters so I would certainly not have him even consider presenting such unless asked specifically for such evidence.)

When it comes to Americans, the European immigration officials basically don't care; and once he's travelled there and his passport details are in the PNR, then on the return there'd be no trouble as long as the airline rep found the reservation in the system. (That is to say, a swipe of the passport to pull up the reservation may not be as productive as having the airline agent pull up the reservation with either the record locator or the ticket number. Instead he should simply tell the airline rep at check-in that the reservation has his first name recorded as the common version of his name and they should use XYZ record locator to pull up the reservation.)

US Immigration doesn't make an issue about it either, although US immigration officials may have trouble trying to figure out which flight he came off. But that's just one very quick question and answer.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 5:38 pm
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I would be VERY careful if you're flying on Ryanair (surprise!). They love to turn people away for the samllest of reasons. I wouldn't risk it if I were you.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
People even travel with the first and last name swapped.
I can vouch for that

Once we had made a reservation and our ticket was issued correctly, but our PNR had our last name and first name switched! Air Canada didn't seem to notice...

Cheers
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Old Dec 14, 05, 5:49 pm
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My full legal name on my passport/driver's license is [first name] [mother's name]-[father's name].

I have been buying tickets with just [first name] [father's name] for the last 5 years (after getting sick of the long name). Never had an issue within US/Canada, even Europe. It rarely raises an eyebrow at check-in and never with security/immigration.

For China I do use my full legal name, just in case.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ramraideruk
I would be VERY careful if you're flying on Ryanair (surprise!). They love to turn people away for the samllest of reasons. I wouldn't risk it if I were you.
One cannot buy Ryanair tickets on Orbitz.
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Old Dec 14, 05, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by maxdxb
as a new poster please be kind to this question, I also think the question belongs in this forum but could be wrong !

The name on my passport is Maxwell (first name), noone calls me Maxwell, just Max, when booking a recent airline ticket from London to US without thinking I told the agent my first name was Max and not Maxwell...is this a real issue ? I just know that it is such a big hassle to get an airline to change anything once a ticket is ticketed.

Obviously my concern is on checkin at LHR but more importantly getting through immigration at IAD and subsequently making it through security with those sticklers, the TSA agents !

Any help much appreciated
I wouldn't worry much about it. Some good advice below about calling the airline and having it put in the PNR.

I had some trouble immediately after 9/11 because I use a shortened version of my first name which did not match my ID. Was able to get the tickets re-issued with my full name at the airport and since then travel using with my full legal name on tickets - I try to include my middle initial, but some non-US carriers don't seem to allow middle initials on tix so I just go with my legal first and last.

One exception: On United I used the shortened version of my name last year without problems.

Also: I've also travelled overseas in the past with the shortened version of my name on ticket, full legal name on passport in the past with no problems in Europe. This was prior to 9/11, but Europe isn't caught up in this paranioa that exists in the US. Besides, my full legal first name often trunicates on some boarding pass stubs and you can only see the first few letters (i.e. Lastname/M/Firs(tname).

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Old Dec 14, 05, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by canuck_in_pa
My full legal name on my passport/driver's license is [first name] [mother's name]-[father's name].

I have been buying tickets with just [first name] [father's name] for the last 5 years (after getting sick of the long name). Never had an issue within US/Canada, even Europe. It rarely raises an eyebrow at check-in and never with security/immigration.

For China I do use my full legal name, just in case.
Similarly, my passport name is Pickles Gherkin Vinegar (no hyphen, that's lame), and I always fly under "GHERKIN/PICKLES", and never had any trouble.
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