TSA Rules On Name on Airline Ticket

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#1
Pleasant View, UT
37 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Help!!! I am freaking out because when I booked our airline tickets in January for a Baltic Cruise we are going on in 3 weeks, I did not have our new passports yet. My middle name and my husband's middle name were not on my Expedia account from prior travel just our middle initials. Our airline ticket only has our first and last name, no middle initial or middle name. According to the TSA Regulations, your boarding pass must match your passport exactly. I updated my Expedia account after I got our passports and added our middle names and then contacted Expedia to tell them I need our middle names added to our tickets. They just emailed me and said they could not do anything about it and name changes are at the discretion of the carrier which is United. Some may allow the correction of a misspelling. but even the airline may charge a fee for making this change and reissuing the ticket. I am going to call United tomorrow to see what can be done. I don't want to have to pay hundreds of dollars to add our middle names but the worst case scenario would be if we are denied boarding the aircraft because our tickets don't have our middle names.

Can anyone help me out with this problem or has this happened to you and is TSA really going to deny us through security if our middle names are not on the ticket?
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#2
86,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Luvtotravel54
Help!!! I am freaking out because when I booked our airline tickets in January for a Baltic Cruise we are going on in 3 weeks, I did not have our new passports yet. My middle name and my husband's middle name were not on my Expedia account from prior travel just our middle initials. Our airline ticket only has our first and last name, no middle initial or middle name. According to the TSA Regulations, your boarding pass must match your passport exactly. I updated my Expedia account after I got our passports and added our middle names and then contacted Expedia to tell them I need our middle names added to our tickets. They just emailed me and said they could not do anything about it and name changes are at the discretion of the carrier which is United. Some may allow the correction of a misspelling. but even the airline may charge a fee for making this change and reissuing the ticket. I am going to call United tomorrow to see what can be done. I don't want to have to pay hundreds of dollars to add our middle names but the worst case scenario would be if we are denied boarding the aircraft because our tickets don't have our middle names.

Can anyone help me out with this problem or has this happened to you and is TSA really going to deny us through security if our middle names are not on the ticket?
The passenger ticket does not have to have your middle name on it. As long as it has your first and last names you are fine.

Each airline also contains other information in your reservation that they are required to keep and that includes your Middle Name. It is part of what is called Secure Flight Information. Normally you can just update this information on the airline web site but just call the airline reservation department and let them know you need help to update your Secure Flight Information. Your middle name information will go there. But even if you had it there from the get go the middle name has not shown on any of the passenger tickets that we have flown.

Keith
#3
2,172 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Keith is right. I had this same freak out when I booked a trip to Europe. I booked online with AA and did not put our middle names on the ticket. When I checked our passports they did have the middle name.

I filled out the security flight information after booking and I think it asked for name as it appeared on passport(not sure though) But I did add the middle names there.

I was still paranoid so called AA and they told me if I had called in for reservations they would not put the middle name on the ticket either but would just have it in the flight info.

I would call just for your own sanity but I think you are fine.
#4
Bowie, Maryland (suburb of Washington, DC)
5,848 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
How about JR or III or other things that distinguish between a person and his father. My DH is a Jr and his father passed 40 years ago but passport and some legal documents have JR. I made cheapOair cancel my tickets without charge because their form did not have the JR and no place to put it on the online form. Have had questions in the past. Anybody know about JR?
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#5
more or less in TX
10,419 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I went through this when my renewed passport came and my maiden name had been deleted and my middle name added. I hadn't used that middle name in over 40 years.

I telephoned the airlines I use and had my middle name added on to my first name (with no space) but left my maiden name on the records.

My driving license has my maiden name and I use it for an ID for in USA flights.

I am of the opinion that the more information you can cram into that name record, the better.

I've not had any issues with the TSA ID matching with all this information at hand.

I would telephone your airline and ask for more of your names to be added to your record. This should be at no charge. Then your boarding passes should print out as you wish them to be.
#7
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
A few months ago I had to call US Air to change the middle/first name of one of our family. I had always known my BIL by his middle name. I actually thought the name listed first on his birth certif. was his middle name. After making the reservations I find out from my SIL it's the reverse.

Long story short, I called the airlines directly and they flip/flopped the names. They did say it was important it be the exact same as what appears on whichever id you will use, in our case a passport. They did not charge extra and were glad to do it to say time at check-in. I did this about 3 months prior to the flight, which is actually coming up this Tues.
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#8
Vancouver, BC
17,512 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I wouldn't worry about middle name at all. I was freaking a little while back because my airline ticket had my first name spelled wrong. Wasn't an issue at all.
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#9
86,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I just want to highlight that the boarding pass has your first and last names but the Secure Flight Information has other data including your Middle name which would match a drivers license or a passport.

So, if someone says don't worry about it, let's clarify this.

You don't need to worry about your middle name on the boarding pass because it won't be on the boarding pass.

But you need to worry about it for the Secure Flight Information. Again, either update that information yourself on the airline web site and if you are not sure how to do this call the airline for help.

Keith
#10
275 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I work for TSA. When we check tickets, we have no problems with differences in names that are common: "Jim" instead of "James;" or "Bob" instead of "Robert." However, we would question something like "Mac" instead of "James."

We also get completely different names -- for example, if someone just got married but the name change is not reflected on their I.D. We also have passengers with no I.D. -- for example, their wallet was stolen.

We have ways of verifying your identity. It often is helpful if you have something else on you that has the "ticket" name (if it is different than your ID) -- prescription bottle, library card, other card with a picture (credit card or Sam's Club membership card). Again, even with no ID, we can usually verify your identity. Just plan on extra time going through security.

Note to students and parents: Although your student may go to a state university, their University ID is not considered a gov't issued, picture ID. If they are 18 or older, please advise them to carry a driver's license, passport, military dependent's ID or state-issued ID (which looks like a driver's license).

Hope this helps!
#11
Pleasant View, UT
37 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Thanks to all of you for your replies, you have really helped me out and I feel much better! Tomorrow morning I will be taking my daughter to the airport as she is flying to Italy. She is also flying United so when we check her in, I am going to ask the agent if she can correct our Secure Flight information there or what she advises us to do. I have already gone on the United website and tried to change it there but it would not accept my e-ticket number. I am not sure if its because we booked through Expedia. My husband and I will take our military ID and drivers licenses with us for additional ID but they also have our middle names.

Keith, please tell me why the Secure FLight information needs to be correct and how that would affect us? I feel as long as we get through security and to our gate, why would we need to worry?
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#12
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,160 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I never use my middle name or initial on my ticket, and my last name is hyphenated on my DL and passport. The airlines won't take a hyphen, so both names get run together into one making for one very strange and unpronounceable hot mess, LOL! Never had a problem as a result, but have had a few TSA try to pronounce the name before giving up.
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#13
14,387 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Luvtotravel54
I have already gone on the United website and tried to change it there but it would not accept my e-ticket number. I am not sure if its because we booked through Expedia.
Are you sure this flight is operated by UA? Does your eticket begin with 016? Looking at your other posts, I see you are flying to CPH. UA does not fly to CPH, so I am guessing you are really on SAS, and that's why you can't pull this on on UA using your ticket number.

You don't need any other ID but your passports.
#14
86,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Luvtotravel54
Thanks to all of you for your replies, you have really helped me out and I feel much better! Tomorrow morning I will be taking my daughter to the airport as she is flying to Italy. She is also flying United so when we check her in, I am going to ask the agent if she can correct our Secure Flight information there or what she advises us to do. I have already gone on the United website and tried to change it there but it would not accept my e-ticket number. I am not sure if its because we booked through Expedia. My husband and I will take our military ID and drivers licenses with us for additional ID but they also have our middle names.

Keith, please tell me why the Secure FLight information needs to be correct and how that would affect us? I feel as long as we get through security and to our gate, why would we need to worry?
This following link will take you to the TSA Web Site to give you details on this program. You are required to set it up. It's really no big deal to fill in the information. If you can't seem to do it on line (by the way I couldn't do my wife's on line when we first set it up) just call United Airlines.

http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers...ight/faqs.shtm

Just wanted to add that The TSA Secure Flight program requires that all passengers have full Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) in their reservation at least 72 hours prior to departure for ticketed reservations made more than 72 hours in advance. If a reservation is made within 72 hours of flight departure, full Secure Flight Passenger Data must be provided when the reservation is ticketed.

Keith
#15
Pleasant View, UT
37 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Thanks Keith! I already went to the TSA website but looking through the site I am not sure how to change my information. Do I just email them? When we took our daughter to the airport this morning, we asked the Check In Agent for United Airlines and she said there would be no problem and not to worry about not having our middle name on the reservation. Our middle initial is on there so that would be fine.

Thanks 6rugrats, our flight to IAD is on United and you are correct our flight to CPH is SAS so that is probably the reason I couldn't pull our reservervation on United. I should have figured that out myself.
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#16
86,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Luvtotravel54
Thanks Keith! I already went to the TSA website but looking through the site I am not sure how to change my information. Do I just email them? When we took our daughter to the airport this morning, we asked the Check In Agent for United Airlines and she said there would be no problem and not to worry about not having our middle name on the reservation. Our middle initial is on there so that would be fine.

Thanks 6rugrats, our flight to IAD is on United and you are correct our flight to CPH is SAS so that is probably the reason I couldn't pull our reservervation on United. I should have figured that out myself.
I would just call the United Airlines reservation number and they will be able to help you with getting the Secure Flight Information updated. It would be done through their system not the TSA system. The information from that system is then sent over to the TSA electronically.

Keith
#17
14,387 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
You don't have to call anyone. Go to ua.com. At the top of the page is an option that says " My profile". Click on that and log into your Mileage Plus account. Go to "My travel information" and click on "edit". This is where you complete your TSA Secure Flight Information. Just change it so it matches your passport information. That's all you need to do.

You should be able to find your SAS leg on your UA itinerary. It will also have your SAS confirmation number. Just look in your reservations.
#18
Pleasant View, UT
37 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by 6rugrats
You don't have to call anyone. Go to ua.com. At the top of the page is an option that says " My profile". Click on that and log into your Mileage Plus account. Go to "My travel information" and click on "edit". This is where you complete your TSA Secure Flight Information. Just change it so it matches your passport information. That's all you need to do.

You should be able to find your SAS leg on your UA itinerary. It will also have your SAS confirmation number. Just look in your reservations.
Whoohoo! I just went to United website and did what you told me to do. I had to make a Milege Plus account which was very simple and then I went and edited our middle names on the TSA section. Thank you so much for all your help, I am so relieved!
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