When booking a flight ticket, it always seems more than logical that you need to enter your first and last name as stated in your passport and that you need to check your name carefully before you finalize the reservation. However, it may always happen that you accidentally make a typo, enter your married last name instead of your maiden name or that you enter your nickname. But is it possible to travel on this flight ticket or is it advisable to change the name on your flight ticket? Below, JustGo.Travel answers your questions regarding name changes on flight tickets.
- Can you travel on a flight ticket with a wrong name?
- What should you do when the name on your flight ticket is incorrect?
- Can you change a wrong name on a flight ticket yourself via the website of an airline?
- What is the procedure for a name change?
- What should you do if a name change is not allowed?
- Check the conditions of the below airlines
When you arrive at the airport at the check-in desk and the name on your flight ticket does not exactly match the first and last name in accordance with your passport, you will be refused to the flight, in accordance with the rules of the airline.
To avoid being refused on your flight or having trouble during your trip, it is always advisable to change a wrong name on your flight ticket (if allowed).
Airlines call this a name change and are only possible if the (fare) conditions of your flight ticket and airline allow this. Sometimes, at a number of airlines, it is only possible to change your name if you have not been checked-in (online) yet.
To do a name change, you always need to contact the booking website or the airline, because your flight ticket must be changed properly and reissued under the correct name.
1. Check the conditions concerning name changes
Before you take action to change your name, first check the fare conditions concerning name changes on your flight ticket. You have received these together with your flight ticket or can be found on booking website or website of the airline.
For all airfares and flight tickets, certain fare conditions apply. Whether a name change is allowed and under which conditions, differs per airline and may even differ per rate. For example, it can occur that a name change on an economy class flight ticket may not be allowed or only against a surcharge. While on a business class flight ticket a name change may be allowed (against a surcharge).
With a number of airlines, a name change can also only be permitted till a certain period before departure, for example till 24 hours before departure.
2. Check the surcharge concerning name changes
In the fare conditions not only is described whether a name change is allowed, but also whether a change fee and / or administration costs apply.
If you can change a name in accordance with the airline’s conditions, it will sometimes be possible free of charge, but mostly you will have to pay a change fee to have your name changed. These change fees can also vary per airline and by fare class. Changes fees are calculated in various ways:
- a one time change fee.
- change fee per passenger, per flight (segment).
- change fee per passenger, per flight (segment), plus any difference in fare and / or tax.
- change fee plus any difference in fare and / or tax between your old and the “new” flight ticket.
- cancellation fee old booking, change fee plus any difference in rate and / or tax.
When you have booked your flight ticket via a booking website and you want to change your name, please bear in mind that in addition to the change fee for the name change, also administration costs can be charged. Changing an airline ticket is actually done by an employee of the booking website and administrative costs cover these actions. But there is also a number of airlines which charges additional administrative costs.
If you want to avoid additional costs, you may want to book your flight tickets directly via an airline.
3. Contact customer service
Now that you are informed about the possibilities and costs involved in changing your name, it is time to contact the customer service of the provider where you have actually booked your flight ticket.
All booking websites make their reservations in a reservation system linked to an airline booking system. In order to ensure the privacy of travelers and the booking website, it is not possible for an airline customer service to view, change or cancel the reservation of a booking website. For example, if you booked your flight ticket via a booking website like Cheaptickets, it is important that you contact Cheaptickets and not KLM.
In order to prevent that not everyone can adapt each others flight ticket, in most cases the customer service representative will also ask you some security questions. It is therefore advisable that the lead name or traveler contacts the customer service, so that he or she can answer these questions. Once you have answered the security questions correctly, the employee will assist you.
4. Explain clearly what is wrong about the name on your flight ticket
The customer service representative can only advise you and help you, when you clearly explain what is wrong with the name on your flight ticket. Explain how your name is stated in the machine-readable strip at the bottom of the passport and in which way it does not match your name on the flight ticket. Based on this, the employee can examine what type of name change is necessary, which fare conditions apply and whether a solution can be offered.
If you want to know what to look out for when entering your name on a flight ticket, then read the tips for correctly entering your name on your flight ticket.
5. Let the customer service provide you with a solution
When you know what the options and costs are for having your name changed, it may be tempting to indicate during the customer service conversation that you have read that a name change is possible and at certain costs. Nevertheless, it may sometimes be better to let a customer service representative come up with a solution. In some cases the employee can come up with an even cheaper solution or a solution that you have not read yet or thought about yourself.
If appears that, in addition to the change fee, you also have to pay the fare difference, it might be cheaper to cancel your old flight ticket and book a new flight ticket (with the same or another airline) at a lower rate (if available). At the moment, arrange with the employee that you will investigate this and will call back later that same day. Do not forget to write down the name of the employee, so that you can always refer to this person.
NOTE: If you choose to book a cheaper flight ticket at the same airline, please cancel your already confirmed booking. If you forget to do this, the booking system can detect a duplicate reservation and can cancel one of the two reservations.
6. Confirm the name change and the correct name
If you, in consultation with the customer service representative, agree on the name change, it is important to spell your name correctly to avoid misunderstandings. A possible action here is to spell your correct name by using the aviation alphabet. This is commonly used in the travel- and aviation industry and is known well among employees.
Before the name change will be finalized, it is also advisable to go over the conditions, surcharge and the correct name with the employee. This ensures you that everything is clear to both parties and the flight ticket will be adjusted appropriately.
7. Check your new e-ticket
After the name change has been completed, you will receive a confirmation including your new e-ticket. Check your new flight ticket carefully and, if necessary, tell the employee that he / she stays on the phone while you wait for the confirmation to check it. If this is not possible, it is advisable to note the name of the employee. In this way, you can thank the employee personally for his / her cooperation. And when something went wrong and you need to call back, you can always refer to this name.
The procedure regarding name changes in one overview:
- Check the conditions concerning name changes
- Check the surcharge concerning name changes
- Contact customer service
- Explain clearly what is wrong about the name on your flight ticket
- Let the customer service provide you with a solution
- Confirm the name change and the correct name
- Check your new e-ticket
- Have a safe trip!
Not every airline allows name changes. Since you can not travel on a wrong name, your flight ticket will not be valid and you will need to book a new flight ticket with the correct first and last name. This can be done at the same airline (if available) or with another airline (for example, if it is cheaper). However, please cancel your old ticket at any time to avoid duplicate reservations or confusion.
Depending on the fare conditions of your flight ticket, you can request for a (partial) refund of the taxes (minus fuel surcharge and possible administrative costs) or a refund of the full ticket price (minus cancellation fee).
Would you like to read back the conditions regarding name changes at the various airlines? Choose an airline below and find the information you need in Frequently Asked Questions, Terms and Conditions and Rates without a lot of search.
- Adria Airways
- Aegean Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- Air Arabia
- Air Asia
- Air Baltic
- Air Berlin
- Air China
- Air Europa
- Air France
- Air Malta
- Air Namibia
- Air Serbia
- Air Transat
- American Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- BMI Regional
- Bangkok Airways
- British Airways
- Brussels Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- China Airlines
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Cobalt Aero
- Corendon Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Czech Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- El Al Israel Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Eva Air
- Japan Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Kenya Airways
- Korean Air
- Lot Polish Airlines
- Onur Air
- Qantas Airways
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines
- Srilankan Airlines
- Swiss International
- Thai Airways International
- Vietnam Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Australia
- WOW Air
- Wizz Air
At the airlines listed below, the conditions are not mentioned on the website and therefor you need to contact the customer service of the booking website or the airline itself.
- Aerolinas Argentinas
- Air Canada
- Air India
- Air New Zealand
- Asiana Airlines
- Bulgaria Air
- Cyprus Airways
- Garuda Indonesia
- Gulf Air
- Hainan Airlines
- LATAM Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Olympic Air
- Oman Air
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Surinam Airways
- Syrian Arab Airlines
- Tunis Air
- Turkish Airlines
- Ukraine International Airlines
- United Airlines
If you still have any doubts about the conditions, the procedure or surcharge regarding a name change. Please do not hesitate to contact the customer service of the booking website or the airline where you have booked your flight ticket.
Have you ever had to change your name on a flight ticket?