Name on an International Ticket

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LifeIsGood
Posts: 775
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Name on an International Ticket

Post by LifeIsGood » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:27 am

My wife booked a couple of tickets on TAP Airlines from Portugal to Atlanta. I looked at the confirmation a couple of days later and noticed I was listed as "Ken" not "Kenneth". When she called TAP and tried to change it she was told that the ticket would have to be refunded and then re-purchased. Unfortunately the cost has doubled from the original price.
I was wondering what would happen if I walked up to the TAP counter and tried to fly on the ticket? I realize that in a "worst case" scenario they would say no but is a shortened version of a first name a big deal when it comes to airlines?

trevorshhh
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Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by trevorshhh » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:32 am

I have flown internationally with a typo'd name (used a 3rd party to book; I submitted it correctly and didn't see the final ticket until the day of). It was my last name, like if my last name was Smith it was Smiht. I got extra suspicion at every step along the way and had to explain myself but I made it there and back.
"Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land." -Ecclesiastes 11:2 NIV

stan1
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by stan1 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:42 am

You would be at the mercy of a half dozen different people to cut you a break throughout the process. Maybe all of them would even if they aren't supposed to do so but I wouldn't want the hassle of denied boarding especially if you are traveling with your wife.

I think its an expensive lesson learned unfortunately.

RubyTuesday
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Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by RubyTuesday » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:03 am

Check the actual fare conditions which are supplied with the ticket and confirm what it says about name change. Try calling TAP again and escalating to a manager. Did you use a high end travel credit card to pay (Chase Sapphire Reserve)? Perhaps their travel desk could help?

Dude2
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Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by Dude2 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:10 am

I don't think this is going to be a problem at all based on my experiences. That's nothing. Imagine you have an Indian name with over 20 characters. Maybe they put down 10. It's got to be something that happens all the time. I currently have a foreign bank debit card with only my first and middle name on it (my last name is one of those 20 character types). If the name matches to the passport to within some reasonable approximation, that's good.

Shortening a first name to a standard shortened version of it? I wouldn't even blink my eyes.

criticalmass
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Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by criticalmass » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:54 am

stan1 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:42 am
You would be at the mercy of a half dozen different people to cut you a break throughout the process. Maybe all of them would even if they aren't supposed to do so but I wouldn't want the hassle of denied boarding especially if you are traveling with your wife.

I think its an expensive lesson learned unfortunately.
That isn't my experience. A shortened name has been fine. Even using one later of a second name when they say use full name has been fine.

That said, I would still try to escalate with airline. The ticket holder isn't trying to switch passengers and good customer service (oh wait it's the travel industry) would include fixing a typo error.

jminv
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Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by jminv » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:05 am

LifeIsGood wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:27 am
My wife booked a couple of tickets on TAP Airlines from Portugal to Atlanta. I looked at the confirmation a couple of days later and noticed I was listed as "Ken" not "Kenneth". When she called TAP and tried to change it she was told that the ticket would have to be refunded and then re-purchased. Unfortunately the cost has doubled from the original price.
I was wondering what would happen if I walked up to the TAP counter and tried to fly on the ticket? I realize that in a "worst case" scenario they would say no but is a shortened version of a first name a big deal when it comes to airlines?
You could run into a problem at check in, particularly as it is a usa bound flight. This can be both an issue with the manifest sent for checks as in they won't let you board since it wasn't your name checked, which is why they want the name listed in your identity document, and could also be an issue with whomever checks you in/checks your documents deciding not to let you board. I have seen this play out at airport check in a couple times before on a usa bound flight and it revolved around whether the ID checker would let the person fly with a ticket with their nickname or not. I'm sure it often is fine but when it's not, it's unpleasant. I would be a bit worried since it's possible you could be denied boarding and wouldn't chance it. In any case, you can fix this, see below.

Fortunately, you do have an option to fix this that the person you spoke with was unaware of. According to TAP, you can change a nickname to a full name for a 30 EUR fee.

Here is a link documenting it:
https://aviacenter.ru/en/news/2019/03/2 ... procedure/

Here is a link from the company (TAP) documenting it from 2016 (fee has since increased 5 EUR):
https://wws.flytap.com/prjdir/boflytap/ ... 16.pdf?12w

Your wife probably just asked to change names but the key words to use is that it is currently 'nickname instead of full name'. Otherwise, you would only be allowed a 3 character swap, swap when names are out of order, and new last name when getting married.

You will have a problem if the flight is not entirely TAP/NI/WI but it sounds like you are flying direct on TAP only.

Topic Author
LifeIsGood
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by LifeIsGood » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:24 pm

Thanks so much for this information. At first I thought it was going to save the day but in the interest of brevity, I left out some things in my initial post that I didn't believe were relevant. Here's the whole story -

These business class tickets were booked via AmEx travel and we used membership rewards points. They charged our AmEx card a dollar amount and then refunded it back when the Membership Rewards were debited.
The trip involves TAP from Portugal to Boston and then Jet Blue from Boston to Atlanta. This is the part that I believe puts a wrench in the works.
"Name corrections are permitted on pnrs made exclusively on TP/NI/WI flights. Pnrs that include
other airline flights or TP marketing flights are not eligible for name correction."


If you have any other ideas, I'd be eternally grateful!
jminv wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:05 am
LifeIsGood wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:27 am
My wife booked a couple of tickets on TAP Airlines from Portugal to Atlanta. I looked at the confirmation a couple of days later and noticed I was listed as "Ken" not "Kenneth". When she called TAP and tried to change it she was told that the ticket would have to be refunded and then re-purchased. Unfortunately the cost has doubled from the original price.
I was wondering what would happen if I walked up to the TAP counter and tried to fly on the ticket? I realize that in a "worst case" scenario they would say no but is a shortened version of a first name a big deal when it comes to airlines?
You could run into a problem at check in, particularly as it is a usa bound flight. This can be both an issue with the manifest sent for checks as in they won't let you board since it wasn't your name checked, which is why they want the name listed in your identity document, and could also be an issue with whomever checks you in/checks your documents deciding not to let you board. I have seen this play out at airport check in a couple times before on a usa bound flight and it revolved around whether the ID checker would let the person fly with a ticket with their nickname or not. I'm sure it often is fine but when it's not, it's unpleasant. I would be a bit worried since it's possible you could be denied boarding and wouldn't chance it. In any case, you can fix this, see below.

Fortunately, you do have an option to fix this that the person you spoke with was unaware of. According to TAP, you can change a nickname to a full name for a 30 EUR fee.

Here is a link documenting it:
https://aviacenter.ru/en/news/2019/03/2 ... procedure/

Here is a link from the company (TAP) documenting it from 2016 (fee has since increased 5 EUR):
https://wws.flytap.com/prjdir/boflytap/ ... 16.pdf?12w

Your wife probably just asked to change names but the key words to use is that it is currently 'nickname instead of full name'. Otherwise, you would only be allowed a 3 character swap, swap when names are out of order, and new last name when getting married.

You will have a problem if the flight is not entirely TAP/NI/WI but it sounds like you are flying direct on TAP only.

stan1
Posts: 7707
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by stan1 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:29 pm

You'd probably want to ask on FlyerTalk as well although I think you can also search and you'll see many different situations and outcomes.

What did American Express say when you talked to them? Did your wife use the Amex website or talk to a live person? If a live person that rep should have emphasized the need for the name on your passport. Maybe the rep didn't do that and you have a legitimate issue with Amex?

surfstar
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:37 pm

a shortened first name?
don't worry about it

Topic Author
LifeIsGood
Posts: 775
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:43 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Name on an International Ticket

Post by LifeIsGood » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:57 pm

I did post on FlyerTalk but no responses yet. My wife booked online so no luck there. AmEx said the entire itinerary has to be canceled and rebooked.
stan1 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:29 pm
You'd probably want to ask on FlyerTalk as well although I think you can also search and you'll see many different situations and outcomes.

What did American Express say when you talked to them? Did your wife use the Amex website or talk to a live person? If a live person that rep should have emphasized the need for the name on your passport. Maybe the rep didn't do that and you have a legitimate issue with Amex?

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