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What if the Name on my ID is Different Than on My Ticket?

Dear Editors:

We recently booked airline reservations. We didn’t realize that the names on our driver’s licenses do not match the names exactly as they appear on the tickets (ie. Andy instead of Andrew, middle initials missing). Will this be a problem at airport check-in/boarding? If so, what do we need to do ahead of time?





Hi Sherri,

As of May 15, 2009, the TSA now requires your air travel reservations to be made under the exact name listed on your government issued ID. However, check out this blog post from them. They write, “But rest assured, the system will be pretty flexible. For the near future, small differences between ID and reservation information, such as the use of a middle initial instead of a full middle name or no middle name/initial at all, should not cause a problem for the passenger.” They also go on to explain that the point of this new rule is to be able to positively identify people who are on the FBI’s No Fly List.

You might be able to get away with a small difference in your name between your air ticket and your ID, but there’s no way to be 100% sure. If you’d rather not risk it, you’ll have to work directly with your airline to get the ticket changed. I’m not sure which carrier you’re flying, but most don’t allow name changes. In many cases this means you’ll be required to cancel your current ticket and rebook a new one under the proper name—which will be costly.

I’m sorry! I wish I had better news for you. The TSA is really cracking down, but hopefully it will lead to safer skies for everyone.


Happy Travels


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Galveston Hotels

My last name is different on my ID than on my plane ticket? I had my information stored in Orbitz with my maiden name, and I have since gotten married and changed my name. I purchased a ticket not realizing I didn’t change it in the system. If I bring my old ID with my old name will I be able to board without a problem, or should I call and have my name changed on the ticket?

Industrial Pumps

Wow, they’re really getting serious about all these little details. I know a bunch of people who go by different names than their legal names, so they sometimes get tickets for their usual names even while their driver’s license says a different name. I’d better tell them to be careful with that from now on. -Max

Honeymoon Suites

Earlier it wouldn’t have matter much but nowadays they quite strict and so to avoid any inconvenience later its advisable to correct it at the earliest.

Cherokee County Homes

This type of thing can be a common mistake, but at least the TSA does give a little leeway and the airlines do allow you to make the change BEFORE getting to the airport.

Cruise Travel

I believe slight differnces like misspelings are generally accepted. You’d better check with your travel agent or air carrier.

tire wheels

It’s a pretty common mistake. Most of the time it wouldn’t be a problem although it’s not guaranteed. Risk or not risk: it’s your choice. It might delay your trip….

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