If you misspelled a name on a flight ticket, you could always cancel and rebook within 24 hours of ticket confirmation.
If more time has passed, you need to contact your airline to get the matter straightened out.
Filling a biodata form when buying a plane ticket may seem like an easy task.
But, in these stressed lives of ours, it makes sense that a thousand things are going on in your mind. And you can easily make a typo while spelling your own name.
So, if you do spell your name wrong, whether on a domestic or international flight ticket, there are a few ways you can handle the situation.
Can You Travel Under an Incorrect Name?
Absolutely not. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules, the name on your boarding pass must be the same name as on your I.D.
If the first and last names don’t match on both documents, you will most likely be denied boarding. Thus, always register any spelling mistakes with the airline because they have strict policies regarding names.
For small errors (one letter is incorrect), there shouldn’t be an issue changing the name. However, for significant misspellings, you cannot expect much sympathy.
How to Deal With a Misspelled Name on a Flight Ticket?
A misspelled name on an airline ticket is a common human error. Thus, you can easily get spelling mistakes fixed with most airlines.
Cancel and Rebook
If you’ve recently booked an airline ticket and you notice the misspelled name immediately after booking, you can always cancel the ticket. In short, within 24 hours of confirming airline tickets, whether online or at the airport, you can get a refund.
Then, you can buy a new ticket, but this time with the correctly spelled name. Just be sure that all your information is correct when you go through the new booking process.
You should even think about checking prices again and possibly booking with another airline or upgrading to business class. Or, if you’re comfortable with your ticket price, you can just book again with the same airline.
Call the Airline or Your Travel Agent
After 24 hours of confirmation, it’s the airline name change policy that comes into action. In this case, you need to get into contact with your airline or travel agent.
The reason that you can’t just cancel and rebook is that after 24 hours the ticket is non-refundable and non-transferable. So, you are now liable to pay any name change fee and extra fares to get your name correct.
Thus, talk to an airline employee so they can guide you through their specific name change protocol.
And, as stated above, you will sometimes have to pay for name changes, but not always. For example, JetBlue, British Airways, and American Airlines offer one minor correction for free, but Delta, Alaska, and Air Canada have a change fee.
Other air carriers, like Turkish Airlines, will make you cancel and rebook with the correct spelling. Additionally, Air France is one of the few that will not fix even small spelling mistakes because of fears people will transfer tickets to others for cheap.
Talk to an Employee at the Airport
If you don’t notice the misspelling until you’re at the airport, there’s no need to panic as long as it is a minor spelling mistake. All you need to do is go to the ticket desk or any customer support counter at the airport and inform them of the issue.
However, you can only get minor name corrections done on the day of your flight.
For example, a ticket that says ‘Ronert’ instead of ‘Robert’ won’t be an issue. But, if the flight ticket says ‘Steve’ instead of ‘Bill,’ you likely won’t be able to fly.
How to Avoid Misspelling Your Name on a Flight Ticket
Misspelled names are minor issues, and the airline can take care of them. But the hassle of getting it corrected can be frustrating, so it’s best to avoid the situation in the first place.
Thus, here are a few tips to ensure you get the correct name on your ticket the first time.
When filling out any official document or form, like an airplane ticket or passport, make sure you give yourself ample time so you can concentrate.
You should be especially careful when filing out multiple tickets, so you don’t have to worry about putting the wrong name on more than one ticket.
Always think about the trouble you may have to go through if the information on the form does not go right. So, you should not submit before double-checking all the information.
Keep Your Frequent Flyer Accounts Updated
Make sure that if you have an account with any frequent flyer programs, your information is correct and up-to-date.
You should always double-check your account information because these accounts will auto-fill your data when you buy flight tickets. And, when the site auto-fills your name or other data like your passport number, it is much easier for you not to notice wrong information.
Do Airlines Care About Middle Names?
Not usually. Many airlines only pay attention to your first and last name. Thus, a misspelled middle name or incorrect middle initial is not a huge deal and shouldn’t matter.
However, you can still request a name correction if you want.
What if My Name Has Changed Since I Bought My Flight Ticket?
If your name has changed, you should notify the airline and get your flight ticket changed. Most airlines, like Virgin Atlantic, do not charge for editing a legal name change if you show them court documents like a marriage certificate.
You should also make sure that you remove your old family name or maiden name from your current passport.
Overall, minor errors aren’t a big deal when it comes to misspelling a name on a flight ticket. However, major name spelling errors may get you in trouble when boarding a plane.
Thus, in both cases, it is always better to tell the airline about the mistake. If you do, you can get any name changes sorted out easily, especially if they’re minor changes.
Table of Contents
- Can You Travel Under an Incorrect Name?
- How to Deal With a Misspelled Name on a Flight Ticket?
- How to Avoid Misspelling Your Name on a Flight Ticket
- Do Airlines Care About Middle Names?
- What if My Name Has Changed Since I Bought My Flight Ticket?